Thurrock Council’s adult social care in partnership with the Thurrock Coalition won Best Recruitment Initiative at the Skills for Care national award ceremony in Liverpool on Thursday 9 March.
The award recognises employers who have established an effective recruitment system that encourages new and returning people into the workforce and keeps staff.
Adult Social Care was nominated for its innovative approach, its work with people who use the services and its success at retaining and developing social workers.
At the event, Sharon Allen, Skills for Care chief executive, told finalists they were “the best of the best” in the sector, adding: “I think social care needs to be much better at celebrating the great things we do in our communities, and every one of our Accolades finalists are doing brilliant work to make sure we have a highly skilled and well trained adult social care workforce.”
The council worked with Thurrock Coalition in a series of recruitment days where candidates applying for Social Work or OT and Support Planner positions are put through their paces as well as attending formal interviews.
Award judges were interested in what happens next and the council; had a chance to explain its strategies from students, through newly qualified, to senior practitioners – strategies which have led to low numbers of agency social workers – two per cent, low turnover for social workers and occupational therapist, and 100 per cent retention of team managers over eight years.
On the night the team – represented by Wendy Brown (Senior Development Officer for Social Work Projects), Fran Leddra (Principal Social Worker), and the director of Thurrock Coalition Ian Evans along with the Coalition’s Trevor Hopper – received the award by Samilia Ghadie, the Coronation Street actor, and Sharon Allen.
Cllr Sue Little, the council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care, said: “The work our teams do to recruit and retain staff in this area ensures we are able to provide a top-quality service for local residents and is fully-deserving of this accolade.
“My warmest congratulations go to all of the officers involved on achieving this award.”