Somerset county council

Social work training scheme set for another record year

Graduates looking to make the move into children’s social work can join the latest intake on a successful the Somerset-led training initiative.

The County Council is leading the regional Step-up-to Social Work scheme which aims to enlist a record number of people to switch careers in 2019 and become social workers.

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The Government-funded initiative enables people to qualify as social workers on a fast-track course providing they have a 2:1 degree in a subject other than social work.

Applications for the course can be submitted between 4 February and March 2019.

Launched in 2016/17 as a partnership of authorities led by Somerset, it has attracted teachers and others already working with children who have been inspired to join the profession and make a difference to people’s lives.

Last year (2018/2019) 49 students enlisted – 10 from Somerset. For the latest intake (2020/21) organisers are aiming to enlist 54 recruits, with 12 coming from the county.

Of those who completed the course in 2017, 28 qualified and six of the eight from Somerset joined the authority.

One of the new trainees said: “I have always had a passion for protecting and working with children and I wanted to develop the skills and knowledge to be an advocate for young people.”

“I had been part of the leaving care team for the last few years, and I have valued being able to provide support to some incredible young people.”

Councillor Frances Nicholson, Somerset County Council’s Lead Member for Children’s Services said: “It’s fantastic news that the number of entrants to the course has increased and it’s also incredibly encouraging that we have six out of the eight Somerset students from the first cohort now working for us.”

“Every member of staff in Children’s Social Care benefits from protected time for learning, and numerous training courses and development opportunities.

We are making every effort to build a strong and dedicated workforce to help ensure Somerset’s children live safer, happier and healthier lives.”

You can find out more about the course by visiting:

Key details are as follows:

  • The application window will open on 4 February and close on 18 March 2019.
  • The programme itself will run from Jan 2020 to March 2021.
  • The recruitment phase will be in June/July 2019
  • Across the partnership of 10 LA’s we are looking to recruit 54 students this time round in Cohort 6.
  • 12 of which will be specific to Somerset

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