The crisis in social care recruitment could be coming to an end with new
figures showing a surge in students studying for the ‘caring’ professions.
Statistics from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (Ucas)
show that the number of social work candidates entering university this summer
will rise by 94.6 per cent to 22,101.
Research by the Employers Organisation for local government (EO) shows that
local authority spending on social services increased by 159 per cent last
year, but the average number of job vacancies still stand at 8.4 per cent.
Vacancies remain highest in occupational therapy posts (20 per cent) and
children’s social workers (12.6 per cent). London has the greatest number of
shortages in the UK, with the eastern region and the South West suffering the
lowest vacancy rates.
David Mellor, chief research officer at the EO, said the very marked rise
was extremely encouraging.
However, he warned that continual action was needed to ensure the profession
did not start to haemorrhage trainees as it did in the late 1990s.