Social work has and continues to undergo many changes and the same can be said for social work job prospects. Under the Labour government we saw unprecedented investment in public sector services and job prospects were good for social workers. However, the recession in 2008-2009 impacted on public finances and when the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats took office in 2010 their main focus shifted to cutting UK’s structural deficit by 2015. This has resulted in cuts and closure of many services, and consequently has negatively influenced job prospects in all sectors of economy including social care and particularly the public sector.
Although in 2010 one in ten social worker posts in the UK were vacant and newly qualified social workers continued to feel the squeeze and found it increasingly difficult to secure employment.
Social work students and newly qualified social workers are anxious about their future and you don’t have to go far to hear their voices of concern. They attend social work conferences asking for advice, they return to the universities they graduated from asking for help and mentoring, they tweet experienced social workers on twitter seeking guidance, etc. while others use social media to contact prospective employers directly all in the hope of securing their first social work post.
The situation continues to be difficult and that first social work job evermore elusive.
Therefore in tonight’s debate we will examine the status of job prospects for newly qualified social workers as we explore the following questions:
- What are the job prospects for Newly Qualified Social Workers?
- How should newly qualified social workers position themselves in the jobs market?
- Are we training too many social workers with no hope of future employment?
- Are employment based routes squeezing other newly qualified social workers out of the employment market?
Join us & share your views on “So you’re a Newly Qualified Social Worker? Where to from here?” Today (Sept. 11) 8:00 PM UK / 3:00 PM ET @SWSCmedia.