The Step Up to Social Work programme is a government funded initiative which enables people who do not have a social work degree but who want to become a social worker qualify on a fast-track course. Applicants need to have at least a 2:1 degree, in a subject other than social work, and will be able to earn a £19,833 tax free bursary while they learn on the intensive 14-month programme.
North Somerset Council is part of the regional partnership of 10 local authorities supporting the scheme in the south west who are looking to recruit a total of 58 aspiring social workers, with six placements on offer in North Somerset.
Applications for the next round of applications for the course are now open and will close on Wednesday 7 April. The programme itself will run from January 2022 until March 2023. So far North Somerset Council has trained 13 applicants with all of them going on to be employed as social workers and 12 staying in North Somerset.
Cllr Catherine Gibbons, North Somerset Council Executive member with responsibility for children’s services, said: “Social workers and the critical work they do have never been so vital to our children, young people and families across North Somerset.
“The Step Up to Social Work programme is a fantastic opportunity for graduates, or people looking for a career change, who have a passion for protecting and working with children, to develop the skills, knowledge and qualifications to be an advocate for children and young people.
“In North Somerset we’ve already trained three intakes of students with 12 of those 13 people now working in our children’s social work team. I’d urge any graduates who want to make a real difference to people’s lives to apply for the course before applications close on Wednesday 7 April. North Somerset is a great place to work and live.
“Our absolute priority for children and families is to acknowledge them as experts in their lives, to support them to make change, encourage aspiration and secure good and stable lives. We have a strong learning culture that supports, nurtures and develops our social workers to ensure they never give up for children and families.”
Kat, who graduated as a social worker on the Step Up to Social Work programme last May and now works for the council, said: “I moved to North Somerset from London permanently, following graduation, and I have no regrets.
“North Somerset is situated on the coast of the Bristol channel, which is ideally located for a life of beach walks and countryside living. I love cycling and found there are so many off road cycling routes, that getting around without a car is easy. There’s easy access to Bristol and Cardiff and I’ve found the cost of living in North Somerset is much cheaper than London, particularly when it comes to housing where I have almost halved my cost of living.”
Find out more about the course and register your interest ahead of applications opening at https://www.gov.uk/stepuptosocialwork