Social Workers: Recruitment and Retention - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:06 am on 16th May 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 11:06 am, 16th May 2019

The noble Baroness is absolutely right: that is a vital part of the programme. It is part of a wider suite of programmes that have been introduced so that we can bring individuals into social work at different points within the system. This has included the new social work degree apprenticeship scheme and, as I have said, we have 4,000 a year entering the normal degree programme. We have also introduced the fast-track training programme for high-potential graduates and the Think Ahead graduate programme for mental health social work. We are trying to attack this challenge from all angles, as well as guaranteeing that we retain those in the system through continuous professional development. This will ensure that it is a rewarding profession, as she rightly says, but also one in which people feel supported and that they have the skills to deliver for the most vulnerable in our community.