The following is a guest post. I actually have a friend who worked in the UK as a social worker for a while. That’s where she met her husband. What a great way to see the world, right?
Social work is one of the most varied and rewarding careers you can go into. Social work jobs are dynamic, challenging and diverse, and no two days are ever the same. However, despite this, the UK is currently experiencing a shortage of qualified candidates. The combined pressures of an ageing population and record levels of migration are putting unprecedented strain on health and social services in the UK. This means that there are many quality social worker and social worker assistant jobs available to overseas staff.
What type of jobs are available?
Work Gateways gives a comprehensive list of the type of opportunities available, including short and more permanent contracts in children’s services, geriatrics (elderly health), substance dependency (drugs and alcohol), family services and education. Social worker assistant jobs are also frequently available, both in county councils, the NHS or charities.
If you are not from the EU, you will need to obtain a valid visa before you can find work in the UK. The Home Office has detailed advice on the application procedure. If you are a qualified social worker whose certificates have been verified, it is sometimes possible for an employer to arrange a sponsored work permit for you, so it is worth asking about this at interview.
What else will you need?
Once you have your visa, you can start applying for some other essential paperwork you’ll need to work in the UK. This includes:
Registration with the GSCC, the UK governing body for social work.
National Insurance number for tax purposes.
Once you are in the UK, you can apply to any number of social work recruitment agencies who will be able to match you up with the right role for you. Jobs could be part-time, full-time, temporary or permanent. You may choose to work in a city-centre or out in the pretty British countryside. You may be in a small team of 2 or a large team of 10. One thing that is for sure is that working in the UK will be an immensely exciting challenge, and knowing that you are making a difference to vulnerable people will provide you with a huge amount of satisfaction.
So what do you think? Is working overseas something you’d consider?