Journal Article

Who Wants to be a Social Worker? Using Routine Published Data to Identify Trends in the Numbers of People Applying for and Completing Social Work Programmes in England

Jo Moriarty and Jo Murray

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 37, issue 4, pages 715-733
Published in print June 2007 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online October 2005 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bch325
Who Wants to be a Social Worker? Using Routine Published Data to Identify Trends in the Numbers of People Applying for and Completing Social Work Programmes in England

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Despite widely reported problems with recruitment and retention, there is surprisingly little published research investigating the numbers of people wishing to enter social work and their demographic characteristics. This article uses routinely collected published higher education data and reports produced by the General Social Care Council (GSCC) and its predecessor the Central Council Education for Education and Training in Social Work (CCETSW) to look at recent trends in the numbers of people wishing to become social workers. It argues that information on the overall numbers of people applying each year is less helpful than understanding more about which groups are under-represented in social work and why. It also draws attention to some positive indicators, such as the comparative success of social work in attracting groups who may currently be under-represented in higher education. In addition to suggesting that we need to know more about the numbers and types of people applying to be social workers, it concludes that additional work is required in establishing employment patterns among the social work workforce as a whole. For example, a high proportion of newly qualified social workers take up paid employment in social work, but little is known about what happens to them at later stages of their career.

Keywords: social work education; applications; recruitment; widening participation; workforce inclusivity.

Journal Article.  7916 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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