Social Work employment as a Canadian citizen

Hi Folks,

I'm curious about employment in Scotland, preferably in Glasgow, in social work as a Canadian social worker (who can't get an ancestry visa. I'm too many generations in Canada to qualify, unfortunately).  I have received recruitment emails from the Canadian Association of Social Workers for Canadian child protection social workers to come to the UK, but never other social work positions and not in Scotland. I wonder if it is even worthwhile, given this, to apply online? Is there the demand I wonder? Demand for mental health and addictions, psychiatry, or hospital social workers? How would one find out? To be sure, social work is listed on the UK Government Shortage Occupation List.

Thank you to anyone with some insight into this,


Hi and welcome to the Forum.

There is a chronic shortage of Social Workers all over the UK; I've just done a quick Google search (link) and there are many being advertised in Scotland; perhaps a more pro-active approach may help you find them?

With regards to a visa, if you do not qualify in your own right, your only option would be some kind of work visa; the peculiar thing about them is you have to find a job from where you currently live, which is problematic in itself.  All said, as you have pointed out, Social Worker does appear on the Shortage Occupation List, so it should be relatively easy to get one if they exist.

The other thing you need to do is to make sure that any relevant qualifications you have for this work are recognised in your new place of work.

So where to start; use LinkedIn (I just did and there are current jobs being advertised there as well), reach out to your peers on Facebook (there are plenty, I just looked).

If you have any further specific questions, please come back to us.

Hope this helps.

Expat Team

Thank you so much for this! I have reached out to NHS recruitment and the Scottish  branch of the British Association of Social Workers (haven't heard back from them yet). NHS recruitment indicated that there are no social work positions w/ them in Glasgow. They recommended I connect with the Council. I'm working towards understanding the social welfare system in the UK/Scotland to help me understand how social work employment is organized. Posting on is also part of my research process. I wonder if there are any social workers on the forum :-)

Again, thank you kindly for your quick reply and helpful information.



I am not a social worker but my sister who lives in Edinburgh has worked with mentally handicapped children for the most part of 30 years.

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