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Graduate retention in NB: Supplementary report on graduates in social work

Author: NB-IRDT Staff

Posted on May 26, 2023

Category: DataNB

Social workers and community service workers provide access to social services, address broad social issues and help individuals in their pursuit for well-being. They help with life’s most difficult moments – when help is needed most. Between an aging population, economic hardship and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, New Brunswickers have faced some incredible challenges.  Without a doubt, social workers have played an integral role in supporting us through these trying times.

Labour market predictions forecast a growing shortage of social workers in New Brunswick (NB) by 2030. To help address current and future shortages in this area, researchers at NB-IRDT have been analyzing the retention of social work and community service worker graduates in NB.

Looking at university graduates of social work programs at Saint Thomas University and Université de Moncton as well as college graduates of social service and community worker programs at New Brunswick Community College, we compared which graduates are more likely to stay in the province after graduating. We also examined which school had the highest retention rates and where these graduates chose to settle in NB.

The results are promising, indicating that a higher percentage of social work graduates remain in the province when compared against the general body of post-secondary graduates. However, there is still a need to boost graduate retention to help address the projected shortage, and understanding which graduates are the most likely to stay – and where – can help guide discussions and strategies to recruit and retain social and community service workers.