Posted Monday 8 March 2021
Kingston University is teaming up with Achieving for Children and Sutton Council to offer aspiring social workers a chance to train and qualify within 14 months through a Department for Education (DfE) initiative.
The Step Up to Social Work programme will provide intensive, hands-on experience of working in a real-life social work role through placements with their local authority. It will give students the opportunity to earn while they learn, with the DfE providing tax-free bursaries of £19,833 for the duration of the programme as well as payment of course fees for successful applicants.
Learning will take place through a combination of academic study at Kingston, where students will have access to University's award-winning practice learning suite which allows for simulated interactions with service users, and on-the-job placements with Sutton Council or Achieving for Children.
On completion of the course, which starts in January 2022, students will be awarded a postgraduate diploma in social work from Kingston University, enabling them to register and practice as a social worker.
Head of the Department of Social Work and Social Care at Kingston University, Dr Wilson Muleya, said the offering of the course came through good partnership links. "Both Achieving for Children and Sutton Council are among the partners in our Developing Together social work teaching partnership and we are excited to be working with them to deliver this unique programme and help support their children and families workforce recruitment and retention strategies.
"Our department has a long history of offering successful pre- and post-qualifying social work courses and this scheme is a welcome addition after our recent launch of our undergraduate apprenticeship course, which also came due to close links with London social services employers," he said.
Chair of the People Committee at Sutton Council, Councillor Marian James, said: "I am delighted Sutton Council has been successful in a bid to deliver the Step Up to Social Work programme. The programme offers a practical alternative to traditional study and a direct route into the world of children's social work. I would encourage any talented graduates who have ever considered a career in social work to apply for this practical, fast-track programme."
Principal social worker from Achieving for Children, Harpeet Dhanjal, said: "This is a really exciting opportunity for us to be involved in. This adds a further opportunity for graduates to enter into a rewarding social work career. I would encourage strong graduates who have experience of working with vulnerable children, young people, families to apply for this programme."