Students to repay Hampshire with two-year handcuffs

Hampshire social services is to pay 21 of its employees their
existing salaries while they train to become social workers.

In October, the 21 staff members, mainly care managers, social care
workers and social work assistants, will take up places at various
colleges and universities in the south of England.

As well as continuing to pay the employees their current salaries,
the council will pay their course fees and expenses, including
travel. In return the students must work for Hampshire Council for
two years after graduation.

Mike Branicki, Hampshire’s learning and development adviser, said
the scheme was intended to improve staff retention and engender
long term loyalty.

In addition to the employment-based training route, there are six
places available on a graduate trainee scheme for external
applicants. Trainees will receive a £14,000 annual salary
while studying for a two-year, full-time masters in social work at
Southampton University. The course will include 200 days’ classroom
training and 200 days of practice at Hampshire Council.
Branicki, himself a qualified social worker and practice teacher,
said the council had selected the 21 people for interview by the
university and council.

The graduate trainee scheme is still open to applicants but
Branicki thinks it will be oversubscribed.

He said: “I expect graduates will come from psychology, social
policy and sociology backgrounds but I have received inquiries from
fine art graduates and accountants wanting to change

Branicki said the reason for offering graduate students a financial
incentive is to make it attractive to a broad range of people, but
he emphasised applicants should show a commitment to social

“They will need to have worked in social care or the voluntary
sector for at least six months,” he said.

  • Further details are available from
    or see Hampshire’s stand at Community Care LIVE, 18-19 May.

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