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Social Work Apprenticeship Scheme in Development
Local authorities are submitting proposals to the government for a social work apprenticeship scheme
A group of councils, working in partnership with Skills for Care, are consulting on plans as part of an integrated degree apprenticeship scheme for social workers. This would be the first of its kind, offering a route into the profession to those who are experienced but who don’t have academic qualifications.
The group will be developing the apprenticeship standard for social workers, which will set out the practice knowledge and skills required of those who qualify via this route. Although the development is in its early stages, the draft standards so far reveal:
The final version is expected to be submitted to the Institute for Apprenticeships by 28th June, where the group will then get a decision on whether it can proceed with the scheme by December.
The new apprenticeship levy would fund the placements, with most local authorities expected to pay a levy contribution. The project manager for standards, learning qualifications and apprenticeships at Skills for Care, Peter Barron, is supporting the development of the apprenticeship scheme.
“Local authorities are massively excited about this as they see it as an efficient way of using their levy payments and a way of moving forward the careers of internal staff working in care who have the right values and experience to be a social worker but not necessarily the academic background,” Barron said.
The proposal has received a mixed response. There is some frustration amongst social workers who have graduated from university, feeling that they have acquired a large debt and may now have fewer placement opportunities due to more competition. On the other hand, some social workers who qualified via the CQSW course, can see similarities and agree that it allows those who have plenty of experience but no access to qualifications, a fair chance in the profession.