Better Deal Pays Off
Wednesday 4th June 2003
An enhanced employment deal has seen the number of people interested in social work jobs with Clackmannanshire rocket.
Councillors approved a scheme in April this year which offered a range of incentives, including a £3,000 welcome package for new recruits. And the result is over 400 enquiries for 13 posts.
Now a further step to keep child care social workers already working for the council has been given the go ahead.
The new deal means qualified child care social workers based in Clackmannanshire will be retained by offering £3,000 to stay for a minimum of two years.
Councillor Sam Ovens, Convener of the Housing and Social Services Committee said: "It's important that we retain the staff we have. They deal with children in the area, who are amongst the most vulnerable members of our community. Local people need to know that the service the Council provides to them is top notch, and if that means we offer incentives for qualified staff to stay, then that is what we will do."
Councillors heard that the child care service has been operating with a 25% staff shortfall for the last four years. The result was a extra pressure on existing staff - and a child care service that at times was operating at almost critical levels.
Gerry McGeoch, Head of Child Care and Criminal Justice said: "Recruiting and retaining social work staff is a huge problem for councils across the country. Other councils are offering attractive packages to social work staff, which means it can be difficult for us to maintain staffing levels. This new scheme means that child care social workers will be paid £3,000 in instalments over the coming year, providing we have their commitment that they will stay for a minimum of two years."
The extra costs involved will be funded from Scottish Executive money made available to local councils and other savings made within the service.