Social workers recruited from Zimbabwe and South Africa begin work in Harrogate
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Adult social care has been experiencing well-documented recruitment problems in recent years, which has left some providers struggling to hire qualified social workers.
It has previously been reported that on any given day there are at least 1,000 care jobs available across the county.
To address this, a North Yorkshire County Council report said the authority ran several large recruitment campaigns in the United Kingdom for more than 30 social worker vacancies but had “very limited” success.
It found that new recruits were also often newly qualified social workers and were not yet ready to manage more complex work.
The report says that with full-time roles unfilled, expensive agency workers have also been used.
But since August, the council has overseen an international recruitment drive with the aim of hiring 30 social workers and five occupational therapists.
The first cohort of social workers arrived in Harrogate towards the end of last year and the second cohort arrived in January and February of this year.
The new arrivals have been given three weeks of training and have also been allocated a “community buddy” to help them settle into their new country.
North Yorkshire County Council’s Conservative executive member for health and adult services, Councillor Michael Harrison, said: “We have recruited 29 qualified social workers from South Africa and Zimbabwe using a network of specialist agencies and working alongside other councils.
“They will work across the county in what is a great opportunity to help this group of professional social workers further their career in North Yorkshire whilst filling vacancies in specialist areas where there is a national workforce shortage.
“We will monitor the success of this recruitment campaign closely, whilst continuing to advertise our current vacancies regionally and nationally.”