A scheme to encourage former social workers to return to the profession has been launched by the Local Government Association and the Government Equalities Office.
The Return to Social Work programme offers free training to 200 former social workers so they can restart their careers in local government. The successful candidates will receive high quality training with hands-on work placements, coaching and mentoring and interview preparation.
Sixty per cent of councils say the retention of care staff is one the biggest challenges facing the sector.
Yet many social workers have left the profession to raise a family, care for a family member or take a career break. This scheme enables such workers to return to the profession.
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Councils are committed to ensuring children and adults of all ages have access to high quality care and support.
“We are delighted to open up the scheme again after it proved so successful last year. Councils are desperate to get good quality, trained professionals on their books.
“The LGA looks forward to working with the Government Equalities Office to ensure our communities are equipped with social workers that they need as demand increases," he added.
The campaign previously ran in 2017. Former social workers will be eligible to apply for this scheme until 31 March, with the programme beginning in May 2020. Placements vary according to how long trained social workers have been out of the profession.
Minister for Women and Equalities, Liz Truss, said: “No one should be held back in their career because they have taken time out of their job to care for a loved one.
“Councils across the country need the talent, experience and care these people can bring to this vitally important work.
“We are investing in returners to work – giving them the opportunity to refresh and grow their skills. By acting on this issue we can fill empty jobs across the country and achieve true equality in our workplaces," she added.