Fast-track programme offers rewarding social work careers for graduates

Step Up to social work

Step Up to social work - Credit: Submitted

Graduates and career changers to child and family social work will be given hands-on training to become the next generation of social workers in Torbay.

This is part of the UK Government’s Plan for Jobs which is protecting, supporting and creating jobs across the country.

Torbay Council is opening the recruitment round for aspiring social workers to join the 14-month Step Up to Social Work programme, to provide training for hundreds more children and family social workers to support children and families most in need.

This will be the second cohort of Step Up in Torbay after it took its first Step Up to social work students in 2018.

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.

Cllr Cordelia Law, Cabinet member for children’s services at Torbay Council, said: “We took our first Step Up to social work students in 2018, it’s a great approach and allows graduates from other professions such as teaching to fast-track their social work qualification.

"Social work is highly challenging, but highly rewarding, and Step Up is helping us to develop a highly skilled workforce ready to make a genuine positive impact on people’s lives.

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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."

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.”

The Government is committed to making social work a career that more people can aspire to, and to make it a career that talented people with a sense of purpose can achieve.

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.

Torbay Council 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 the council aspires to make the programme, and the profile of social work practitioners, more diverse and representative of the families and communities being supported.