Skip to main content

Social and Welfare Services: Sector Overview

a guide to careers in social work, probation, housing & community work, advice & guidance

Social & Welfare Services

Sector Overview

What jobs are available and how to get them

Facts and Figures

  • There are an estimated 1.5 million workers providing adult social care services (including nearly 25,500 social workers) and more than 38,000 employers. Skills for Care are responsible for the training standards and development needs of social work and social care staff working with adults in England
  • The total number of workers providing care for children and young people is 2.7 million
  • As local councils face funding cuts from government of more than 25% between 2011/12 and 2014/15, this will put increasing pressure on them to reduce workforce costs

Sector Overview

  • A report by the Audit Commission and Local Government Association in 2011 suggests that compulsory redundancies will continue to rise until 2014/15
  • According to UNISON, teaching assistants, youth workers and social care workers are among the groups facing the largest cuts
  • Other areas, such as probation, have witnessed recruitment freezes over the last few years. Recruitment is likely to remain tight in all areas of social and welfare services
  • The Connexions service for 13-19 year olds has largely been dismantled, and schools are now responsible for providing careers advise to this age group. The National Careers Service has launched in 2012 to provide advice for adults (online, by telephone and face-to-face)

Job Roles and Opportunities

  • You can work in many different areas. Social work, probation, housing, alcohol & substance misuse, community work, youth work and more...
  • Some areas will require additional qualifications/training. In some cases this might be on the job
  • Many of the roles will be through direct entry. Relevant experience will be essential to getting in
  • Many jobs will be in local government and the NHS, although there are also paid opportunities in the voluntary sector

Alumni Careers Network

Use our Alumni Careers Network to find Sussex graduates working in areas you are interested in. Find out more about what working in that sector is really like, get direct advice and find out if it's right for you!