Some UK universities are offering social work degrees for the first time in a bid to boost the country’s recruitment of the profession.
But while the aim is to attract the best workers to the country, the government says the move risks the profession’s future.
It wants to recruit at least 100,000 social workers this year, more than the last time it introduced social work training at universities in 2008.
The move comes after Theresa May said last year she would seek a review of the way the profession is trained.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “Social work is a highly skilled, professional profession, with an impressive track record.
The Government’s latest plan to train more social workers could make it even more expensive.”
But the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said social work was a career that could be done on a part-time basis and was open to students from the public and private sectors.
The UK has a shortage of social workers, with more than 5,000 graduates in the UK.