PUBLIC SECT0R: Oakes stages pitch for social work job

The General Social Care Council is on the hunt for external PR support as it bids to sign up the UK's one million social workers to the profession's first register.

The social care watchdog sees the register and its promotion as key to restoring confidence in the profession as workers must adhere to a strict code of practice to sign up.

This code is still awaiting approval by health minister Jacqui Smith.

It is understood the GSCC is looking to increase the number of those signing up by around 9,000 per month once the PR campaign gets underway.

GSCC director of communications Mark Oakes, who is co-ordinating the pitch process, said: 'We need a strong push on this as we will have firm targets to meet.'

Oakes is also on the hunt for external support to help on a separate project to develop a three-year PR strategy for the body. This project is expected to run for two months.

He said seven to eight 'heavyweight' agencies have been sent briefs this week with a pitch likely in September.

It is hoped that one agency can be appointed to handle both the register and strategy development projects.

These pitches come as the GSCC also looks to boost its in-house team.

The body is to recruit around nine extra staff to bring the team to 11.

These posts will include a PA manager, who will head all media, stakeholder and government relations, as well as effectively being Oakes's deputy.

The body, which came into being in October last year, is chaired by Rodney Brooke.

- Edited by Joe Lepper.

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