• An enquiry into students' motivations to train as social workers in England

      Furness, Sheila M. (2007)
      In 2003, the British Government introduced a bursary to support and attract more recruits to social work. This study is based on 497 questionnaires completed by prospective students to one social work undergraduate programme over a four-year period, from 2002 to 2006. The first aim of this study was to find out the extent of participants' knowledge of the social work bursary, in order to determine whether this had been a successful strategy to attract greater numbers of people to train as social workers. The second aim was to identify the factors that attracted them to train as social workers. Only 52% of the respondents had been aware of the bursary and, significantly, only 3% indicated that this had definitely influenced their choice of career. Prospective students' knowledge of the bursary has not increased since its introduction and the findings suggest that other factors act as primary incentives and motivate students to apply for social work. It is important to consider the factors that motivate students to train as social workers in order to better inform recruitment policies and ensure that the profession attracts people who are representative of the diverse population of England.