Oxfordshire graduates wanted for fast-track social worker scheme

Graduates from Oxfordshire are being encouraged to apply to a national fast-track programme to become the next generation of child and family social workers.

Applications are being sought for ‘Step Up to Social Work’, a 14-month programme that combines real-world experience in a local authority social work team with high-quality university training. The closing date for applications is 5 May.

Successful candidates will be awarded a post-graduate diploma in social work when they graduate, allowing them to register and practice as a social worker.

Career option

The Government has set out its aim to make social work a career many more people will aspire to and have the opportunity to join. It has invested more than £800 million in social worker training and improvement schemes, including teaching partnerships, bursaries and fast-track programmes.

Oxfordshire County Council’s Principal Social Worker Shaun Hanks said: “I’d really encourage anyone who thinks social work might be the career for them, to look into this scheme and consider making an application.

"We’d very much welcome local applicants interested in doing their training in Oxfordshire as part of this scheme, and potentially going on to practice here as qualified social workers.”

Fulfilling career

Isabelle Trowler, Chief Social Worker for Children and Families, said: “I know from my own experience what a challenging and fulfilling career child and family social work is, and I’m pleased to see that this programme is encouraging more people to consider it. Programmes like this one are attracting hundreds of talented graduates each year, who could make a real difference to the lives of children and families.”

The Step Up programme runs every two years, with more students qualifying as social workers each time. In 2015, 300 students completed their training across the country and more than 420 students are expected to graduate in June this year. Many of those graduating will be offered a trainee social worker role with the local authority where they trained.

This year more than 550 funded places are available to support trainees. After applications close in May, students will start training in January 2018.

Apply now

Candidates are eligible to apply if they have a 2:1 degree, or a 2:2 plus a higher degree, which can include a master’s degree or a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, in a discipline other than social work. They should also have the equivalent of a GCSE Grade C in maths and English, and experience of working with children, young people or families.

More information about applying to Step Up to Social Work can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/step-up-to-social-work-information-for-applicants