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Misguided: Nationwide campaign to boost social worker numbers

Misguided: Nationwide campaign to boost social worker numbers

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Up the salaries of social workers to make vocation as prestigious as law and medicine instead.

By The Social Guru

It has been reported that a huge drive to attract more people to become social workers is currently being carried out.

With 800 registered social workers, Singapore is still in need of 200 more practitioners.

It has also been revealed that a social worker pulls between $2,550 and $2,750 a month.

And to drive these points home, an ongoing nationwide campaign that includes print and TV advertisements has been launched to promote social work as a career of choice.

But how much money is that to coordinate a campaign of this scale, you think?

Millions of dollars annually? From taxpayers presumably?

Oh for crying out loud!

Why can’t the government take all that money and split it evenly among the 1,000 social workers that Singapore is targeting?

This will raise the profile of social workers significantly by tangibly raising the salaries by a quantum leap.

Because in Singapore, you see, the worthiness of a vocation is led by how much money it yields for the practitioner.

Price and opportunity cost will always be a determinant.

But check out what our favourite minister had to say about social workers.

Acting minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Chan Chun Sing, said the remuneration of being a social worker is competitive when compared to similar jobs, such as teaching, that serves the needs of others.

Well, for the record, teaching is a profession that is not very attractive to begin with judging by the perennial lack of teachers.

And to peg social workers to teachers and vice versa is not doing either profession the favour of profile-raising.

But there’s always that hackneyed argument that you need to have a heart for social work to do it, right?

It’s not always about the vulgar aspects such as how much you’re getting paid, right?

Oh, come on.

Name me a job that doesn’t serve the needs of others?

And name me a job that doesn’t require you to have a heart?

For the record, social work is like any other kind of work.

It could be law, medicine, flipping burgers or grooming dogs.

The better the pay, the more professionalised it becomes, the more people it attracts, the more competitive it gets and the better the quality of the candidates who show up for job interviews.

PAP believes in paying top dollar to ensure quality pickings for minister-calibre individuals who can serve the people and nation, right?

So why not apply that same belief to social workers?

Why the discrepancy?