14 Apr 2009

County council in England seeks social workers fron NZ

9:44 am on 14 April 2009

Essex County Council is finding it so hard to recruit social workers that it's trying to tempt staff from New Zealand in England.

It's hired a recruitment agency to find up to 60 social workers, with New Zealand, Australia and South Africa the main targets.

Council Labour leader Paul Kirkman says the county has no choice but to scour the Commonwealth for staff.

Mr Kirkman says public scape-goating of social workers involved with high-profile child abuse cases has made it a less attractive profession in Britain.

He says the deficit of social workers in the borough can also be attributed to poor workforce planning in the past.