Trainee social worker recruitment – some frequently-asked questions
Shropshire Council is recruiting eight trainee children’s social workers. The successful applicants will train on the job, while studying for a degree in social work with University Centre Shrewsbury. Once they graduate they’ll be offered a job as a qualified social worker.
For details, and to apply, visit the Shropshire Council website at careers.shropshire.gov.uk. Applications close on 5 September 2019.
Here are some frequently-asked questions about the roles and the training.
What is a Higher Apprenticeship in Social Work?
Higher apprenticeships provide an opportunity to gain University-level qualifications, whilst in employment. The Higher Apprenticeship in Social Work takes three years to complete; graduates will exit the programme with a Bachelors (Hons) Degree in social Work and be registered with Social Work England.
What will the apprenticeship involve?
Apprentices will be employed by Shropshire Council and will spend four days per week in the workplace developing their skills and knowledge in social work practice. The final day will be spent in off the job training, predominantly in University learning the theoretical underpinning which informs practice. On weeks when there is no university session apprentices will still be off the job undertaking independent study, directed study or visiting an alternative workplace. This day per week must be away from the normal workplace and must be focused on the apprentice’s development and learning.
Where is the University Campus?
The Social Work apprenticeship will be delivered at University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS) which offers fresh, modern, open spaces for students, in which there are brand-new computer suites, lecture and seminar rooms, open-plan laboratories and a spacious library.
Outside of the classroom, apprentices can meet with other learners and staff and relax in the student common room, lounge, courtyard, on-site café, library, or make use of the fitness suite. Additionally, on an opt-in basis, membership of a local sports facility is available. University Centre Shrewsbury is relatively small and has engendered a close knit and supportive environment for apprentices to learn.
What are the entry requirements?
The admission criteria for student entry to the BA (Hons) Social Work Higher Apprenticeship programme are:
- All students will have achieved GCSE grade C (or above) in English Language and Mathematics, or at least Key Skills Level 3 in Communication and Application of Number. We will also accept Level 2 equivalent qualifications in Mathematics and English. Applicants who did not complete GSCE English Language within the UK will be asked to obtain IELTS – a score of 7.0 overall and with no category scoring below 6.5.
- A basic ability to use IT effectively.
- Demonstration of a commitment to social care work through completion of experience in a social care setting.
- Suitable references.
- Satisfactory completion of an Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service and a Declaration of Health form.
How will I be supported?
Apprentices will have access to an extensive range of dedicated support including the following:
- Personal Academic Tutor: All apprentices will be assigned their own Personal Academic Tutor (PAT), with whom they meet to discuss academic and professional progress and any additional support needs. The University PAT will also visit the apprentice in the workplace during the programme.
- Learner mentors: All apprentices are also allocated a Learner Mentor from our Apprenticeship office, who works closely with the Personal Academic Tutor and the programme team to ensure that the apprenticeship complies with the relevant standards and to provide and receive feedback from the apprentices and their employers.
- Practice educator: The apprentice’s performance in the workplace will be assessed by a practice educator who has been specifically trained to undertake this role. In the event that the apprentice is not progressing at the desired rate a concerns meeting will be scheduled. This meeting will ensure that any deficits are identified at the earliest possible point and action plans are developed and enacted with appropriate support put in place to optimise the learner’s potential to make effective progress.
- Mentors/ manager: Your employer will identify a qualified social worker to support you in the workplace throughout the programme.
In addition the University has a wide range of support services available to apprentices including study skills advisors, mental health services, student union, careers and employability, mental health and wellbeing services etc.
Will I need to undertake any placements?
To complete the Social Work Degree Apprenticeship apprentices must work within a minimum of two contrasting settings (away from their usual place of work) within the first two-and-a-half years of the programme. At least one of the contrasting settings will have a focus on statutory work.
Our Social Work team includes two practice learning coordinators who have extensive experience in identifying, quality assuring and managing social work placements. For our apprentices, appropriate contrasting practice learning opportunities will be agreed with the contracting organisation and scheduled at a time to suit the employer. The programme team will support the employer to identify suitable contrasting settings and negotiate the period of time the learner spends in this environment(s).
How will I be assessed?
The programme is divided into modules, each of which has clearly articulated assessment tasks. The assessment tasks are varied and include case studies, essays, presentations, posters. Performance in practice is recorded in a practice portfolio and the overall competence of the apprentice is assessed via the End Point Assessment (EPA) which takes up all of the final six months of the programme.
For further details, and to apply, visit the Shropshire Council website at careers.shropshire.gov.uk.