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Exciting work opportunities in London for social workers

Sociaal werk Brugge (Oostende - De Haan) - maatschappelijk werk;

The recruitment agency Jacaranda, has been recruiting social workers from the EU states for the past 7 years. In the last 2 years, Jacaranda placed over 200 staff in employment in Great Britain. Since the GSCC[1] started registering social workers 5 years ago, 22 Belgian social workers have received their professional registration with the General Social Care Council. Over the past year the agency recruited social pedagogues for the government pilot and is now developing training in social pedagogy for the UK workforce.

One social worker who has found work in the UK and is developing her career there is Katja Niles. Katja studied Social Work in Berlin and worked in Germany for 3 years after graduation in 2003. In June 2006 she moved to the UK, “I realised that social workers were in demand in England. I completed my GSCC registration with the support of the recruitment agency Jacaranda and attended interview with 8 other social workers and 5 were offered a job. I was thrilled and very excited.” Katja is now employed as a Senior Social Worker for a team working with young people who are 16 and over. She manages a team of social pedagogues that is responsible for supporting social workers and creating pathway plans. The team also offers group work such as creative writing, drama and life-skills workshops. Katja says, “I could only have dreamt of the amount of training I am now getting in the UK. In February I also started a management course at a local university. The learning opportunities in the UK are diverse and the variety is great. I can honestly say that I have greatly benefited from my decision to move to the UK.”

Other social workers are clear about working for a limited time in the UK and returning home. One such social worker is René Bell. Rene graduated in Social Work in 2005. By January 2006 he was working in a local authority children’s services on the south coast of England. The town that has seven miles of golden, sandy beaches which provided great space for his skateboarding passion. It also turned out to be the birthplace of his first child. Having worked for 2.5 years in the UK, René and his family decided to return home. René says of his experience in Great Britain, “It was helpful in getting a job when I decided to return home. My employer was impressed with the experience on my CV and the UK has a reputation of innovative social work.” He goes on, “It was a once in a lifetime experience. Professionally it was very interesting because of the different system and the additional trainings that UK employers offer their employees.”

Great Britain continues to value the contribution of Social Workers from all around the world, not least from Europe. Jacaranda has been commissioned to find 30 Social Workers for one local authority in the South East of England, an area known as the “Garden of England”. One social worker working here is Janine Nowak. Only a few months after she graduated, she was moving to a permanent job in Children’s Services. “I found the move to England really relaxed and well organised. I knew what to expect because I had planned the move in advance and I had been to London before on an internship placement. People were very helpful and supported me by providing me with all the important information.”  Jacaranda helped Janine find her current job and the employer provided extensive relocation assistance, helping her get a bank account organised and find an apartment. “I always had my contact at Jacaranda to help me navigate my way through the process.” Janine finds the job a challenge, “This is a demanding job, where you have to quickly find your feet, but my internship in a children’s centre in Great Britain gave me a good impression of working here and prepared me well for my current job.”

Jacaranda is recruiting over the Spring and Summer, looking for social workers and social pedagogues with differing levels of work experience, including newly qualified applicants. Jobs start in the Autumn and Winter of 2010. The area has many benefits, including close proximity to London and a 1.5 hour train journey to Paris! The population is 1,406,000 of a region that covers 3,500 sq kilometres. It is one of the warmest areas of Great Britain and boasts such claims to fame as having Britain’s smallest church, the first person to have swum the Channel, taking 22 hours, and the romantic location of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s honeymoon! Conditions of work are good – a comprehensive induction is offered by the state employer that offers jobs working with children, young people and families. An additional payment of £6,000 is paid to new staff within their first 6 months, recognising the costs of moving country. Salaries start at £24,000 and increase according to relevant experience.

Jacaranda will be present at an information day on 24th June at 7pm at the Faculty of Arts & Philosophy at Universiteit Gent.   (Auditorium A, (ground floor) Faculteit Letteren en Wijsbegeerte, Blandijnberg 2, B-9000 Gent)

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