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To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the number of people who continue to work in the social work profession after five years having (a) completed a (i) Bachelor's and (ii) Master's degree at a British university and (b) participated in the Step Up to Social Work programme.
The Department for Education does not have the data requested. However, we are seeking to improve the data available on retention in the profession through the launch of a new large-scale longitudinal study of child and family social workers in England which will launch this autumn and follow the careers of participants over five years.
The ‘Evaluation of Step Up to Social Work, cohorts 1 and 2: 3-years and 5-years on’, published in May this year, reports that 73% of the first cohort who qualified in March 2012 were still in child and family social work after five years. The evaluation report can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/step-up-to-social-work-evaluation-after-3-and-5-years. We also have a research project currently underway tracking the retention and progression of cohorts four and five until 2020.
A further round of applications to ‘Step Up to Social Work’ will open in February with participants starting training in January 2020.