Step Up to Social Work and make a difference

Graduates in North Somerset looking to make the move into children’s social work will soon be able to join the latest intake on a successful training initiative supported by North Somerset Council.

The Step Up to Social Work programme is a government funded initiative which enables people to qualify as social workers on a fast-track course, providing they have at least a 2:1 degree in a subject other than social work. Students receive a bursary of £19,833 to support them while in training.

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 54 students.

The Step Up programme runs every two years and the next round of applications for the course can be submitted between Monday 4 February and Monday 18 March. The programme itself will run from January 2020 until March 2021.

Cllr Jan Barber, executive member with responsibility for children and young people’s services, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for graduates who have a passion for protecting and working with children, and who want to develop the skills and knowledge to be an advocate for children and young people.

“In North Somerset we’ve already trained two intakes of students. Three of the four students in the first group continued with us and now work in our children’s social work team, while the four students currently on the course are set to pass in March and want to stay with us.

“This year we’re looking to recruit six students – our most ever – and I’d urge any graduates who want to make a real difference to people’s lives to apply for the course when applications open on Monday 4 February.”

Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi said:“Children’s social care is only as good as the people who deliver it, which is why we are recruiting, developing and retaining the best. I have seen first-hand the incredible work children’s social workers can do. Social workers play a powerful role in supporting the most vulnerable children and families, and providing hope and care when they are most in need. We want to attract both recent graduates and those who left education some time ago to apply for training schemes such as Step Up, to help develop the next generation of talented social work professionals.”

Find out more about the course and register your interest ahead of applications opening at