International Recruitment and Induction Standards
The Diaspora Social Work Special Interest Group (SIG) at BASW is delighted to introduce this framework providing guidance on best practice in the recruitment and induction processes for social workers who have qualified outside the UK. Importantly, the standards have been co-produced with social workers who have lived experience of migration to the UK.
The standards have been developed in the context of unprecedented demand for social workers in the UK, with recruitment and retention now being one of the biggest pressures on the profession.
For example, Social Work England reports that the vacancy rate has increased to 20%, or one in every five social work positions, up from 17% in 2021. This has exponentially increased the recruitment of social workers from other countries. Studies estimate that over 10 per cent of England’s qualified social workers trained abroad. Social Work England reports the number of overseas social workers applying to work in England annually has risen almost threefold in the past three years, i.e. —175.3% new applications.
Elsewhere, there are also a growing number of people who qualified outside the UK on the register in Wales, with Social Care Wales having received 93 applications from individuals who qualified outside the UK between October 2022 and April 2023, with 195 already registered. In December 2022 BBC Wales reported that three Welsh local authorities (out of 22) had social worker vacancy rates of more than 30%.