Lincolnshire converts vacant social work posts into trainee positions

Vacant social work assistant posts have been converted into
trainee positions in Lincolnshire in a bid to boost the number of
qualified social workers.

More than 150 people applied for the positions and eight members
of staff and one external applicant were picked for the two-year
trainee scheme which works in partnership with Nottingham Trent

They should qualify as social workers in the children and family
services within two years through distance learning, university
modules and in-house work placements.

Social services director Matt Bukowski said: “We recognised we
had many unqualified staff who work with great skill and enthusiasm
in children’s services but for whom the process of giving up time
to become qualified is hard to achieve.

“This scheme is an attempt to support a small number of staff to
improve their qualification levels and in doing so, help ensure
this important area of social care provision is properly

Ian Johnston, director of the British Association of Social
Workers, said although it was an imaginative and creative way to
fill vacancies he did have concerns.

“If it’s a question of an unqualified person filling a qualified
post for a substantial period that raises questions about risk to

“But, it would be na‹ve to say it is wrong because we have
to accept that there are local authorities that can’t recruit to
some posts.”

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