Innovative £150k social worker recruitment scheme approved

INVERCLYDE is introducing an innovative £150,000 scheme to recruit newly qualified social workers.

Members of the local Integration Joint Board (IJB) agreed to provide funding to the council and health and social care partnership (HSCP) to help bolster the workforce amid recruitment issues being experienced right across the health and social care sector.

The scheme will offer financial support for up to 10 masters students to complete their studies in return for them taking up a three-year post as a newly qualified social worker.

Members of the IJB – the organisation that oversees local health and social care functions carried out by the council/HSCP – unanimously agreed funding for the initiative at a meeting on Monday, 23 January 2023.

Inverclyde is one of the first areas in Scotland to introduce such a scheme.

Councillor Robert Moran, vice-chair of the Inverclyde IJB, said: “This is a wonderful example of the innovative ways council/HSCP staff are using the resources at their disposal to try and address the staffing challenges we’re seeing right across health and social care services.

“Inverclyde is a wonderful place to live, work and visit and this will hopefully provide an added incentive for more people to come and work here by beginning their social work career under the excellent guidance of our skilled and hard-working staff.

“The agreement will be for a minimum of three years’ service in return for support with university fees but there are always great opportunities to develop and progress careers within our services and I’m sure this will be an exciting prospect for many aspiring social workers out there.”

A masters in social work is a two-year course with little or no funding available to students towards their studies, which can cost between £12,000 and £15,000 depending on the university.

This new support scheme would provide funding for the final year of studies for students who are not already employed by the council/HSCP.

Fees will be paid upon successful completion of the masters course and on the basis the student agrees a three-year contract as a newly-qualified social worker.

The scheme has already been endorsed by Inverclyde Council’s social work and social care scrutiny panel at a meeting earlier this month.

The full report is contained within agenda item 05 at and the IJB meeting is available to watch back on Inverclyde Council’s YouTube channel at

For vacancies across the council and HSCP in Inverclyde, visit