Local people interested in starting a career in child and family social work will have the opportunity to get hands-on training as part of a Government-led drive to recruit the next generation of social workers.
North East Lincolnshire Council has once again joined the nationwide Step-up to Social Work programme – part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs. The programme offers local graduates, and people working in other sectors who are ready for a change, the chance to kick-start a career as a social worker.
The 14-month Step Up to Social Work programme is aimed at providing training for hundreds more children and family social workers across the UK to support those children and families most in need.
This will be the seventh cohort of Step Up in North East Lincolnshire and 16 people have completed the programme and qualified as social workers. Step Up is backed by £25million from the Government to fund 700 places across the country, with students receiving a bursary of £19,833 over the duration of the programme to support them whilst in training.
Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford said:
“This year has demonstrated more than ever the crucial role that social workers play in supporting the most vulnerable children and families in society. This is why we are continuing to focus on recruiting, developing and retaining the best. Training schemes like Step Up are open to recent graduates as well as those who left education some time ago, and they are helping to develop a new generation of talented social work professionals who make such a difference.
Initiatives such as Step Up also demonstrate our dedication to creating jobs and opportunities across the country as part of the government’s Plan for Jobs, as well as doing our upmost to protect those whose industries are facing pressure.”
Isabelle Trowler, Chief Social Worker for Children and Families, said:
“I have been impressed each year with the quality of the hundreds of graduates who qualify as social workers through the Step Up programme, and encouraged to see them start out on a long term career in social work. Our profession is highly challenging, but highly rewarding, and Step Up is developing a highly skilled workforce ready to make a genuine positive impact on people’s lives.”
Councillor Ian Lindley, portfolio holder for children, education and skills, said:
“Across the UK, Council’s are crying out for more social workers to help offer support to young children and families.
“The career itself is incredibly rewarding – the work that social workers carry out changes lives and can have such a positive impact on those they are working with.
“The best part about the Step Up programme is that you don’t need to be a social care graduate or have already worked in the sector – this programme offers training to get candidates qualified and ready for their new career.
“I would encourage people to apply – especially those who may never have considered a career as a social worker before, and people who may be working in a completely different sector but are ready for a new and exciting challenge.”
This intensive, 14-month, full-time programme is for those without a degree in social work and who want to become a social worker. Students can expect to learn through a combination of academic study and real social work experience in a local authority. On completion, the Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work will enable graduates to register and practice as a social worker, making a difference by nurturing relationships with families during difficult times and by protecting children.
More than 1,600 students have qualified through the Step Up programme nationally since 2010, and over 600 are set to complete in the spring.
We are looking for strong graduates who have experience of working with vulnerable children, young people, families or adults and who can demonstrate their maturity and emotional resilience.
In particular, the programme this year continues to encourage more applications from male and BAME candidates, as we aspire to make the programme, and the profile of social work practitioners more diverse and representative of the families and communities being supported.
The Step Up programme runs every two years. Applications will open from 15 February to 7 April 2021, followed by regional assessment centres for candidates successful at the initial application stage. Students can expect to start the programme in January 2022, completing their training in March 2023.
Candidates are eligible to apply if they hold a minimum 2:1 level 6 degree qualification i.e. a honours degree or a graduate certificate; or a minimum 2:2 honours degree plus a postgraduate qualification (level 7 or above) for example, a Master’s degree or a Postgraduate Certificate/ Postgraduate Diploma, in a discipline other than social work. They should also have GCSEs in English or English Language and Mathematics at grade C or above, or the new grade 4 and above (or an approved equivalent). Candidates should also be able to demonstrate significant experience of either working or substantial volunteering with vulnerable children, young people and/or families/ carers or adults.
If you would like some more information about the Step Up programme, email Learning and Development Advisor Rebecca Smith on [email protected].