_: The Minister for Social Development, Ms Bathabile Dlamini, invites unemployed Social Workers to register on a new database aimed at keeping a record of all unemployed qualified social workers in the country.
The database will be used to lobby for funds to create social work posts that are required within the public service. Currently there are nine thousand four hundred and fifty six (9 456) social workers in the employ of government.
The Unemployed Social Workers Database will also inform the department about the number of unemployed social workers who have studied outside the Social Development scholarship programme. This is in response to the issue raised by communities and the media that there are qualified social workers who are unemployed.
The government Draft Scarce Skills and Policy Framework of 2003 recognised social work as a scarce skill and mandated the development of strategies to facilitate the recruitment and retention of such scarce skills.
The Department of Social Development has been the main driver in the implementation of this social policy. In addition, the National Development Plan refers to social work as a scarce skill and indicates that 60 000 social workers will be needed by 2030 to serve our population.