Birmingham & Black Country

Social worker course applicants 'double' in Birmingham

The number of people applying to become social workers has almost doubled at one Birmingham college since 2008.

Some 357 applied for Newman University College's Working with Children, Young People and Families course in 2010 - compared to 183 in 2008.

Some of the students hope to remain in the city and work for social services.

The council's social services department has been criticised in the past but one student said every city has its issues.

'Frank picture'

Georgina Turner, 22, a third year of the course at the university said: "I have thought about working in Birmingham... to see where the issues lie and see what can be done."

"But every big city has its issues - every area has its issues."

Graham Brotherton, programme leader at Newman University College said he thought the college had become popular as staff try to give a "frank picture" and make students aware of changing social issues and the possible knock on effect.

He said: "I think we give students a fairly clear idea of what the social work role might be, and the sort of challenges that are inherent in that.

In January, the council suspended its children's social care services director saying the department's slow pace of change was a concern.

The director has since left the council.

Birmingham University has also reported a high number of applicants for its social work courses with 15 applicants for every place.

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