Government to invest in newly qualified social workers

Ministers have today announced funding for the assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE), which will come into force for most social work graduates in England from September.

Credit: West Coast Surfer/Mood Board/Rex Features

Most newly qualified social workers in England will benefit from a £2,000 investment in their learning and development after the government confirmed funding for the assessed year in employment.

Ministers hope the funding will help employers to implement the assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE), which was recommended by the Social Work Task Force in its final report in 2009 as a way to help social work graduates develop their skills, improve their knowledge and strengthen their professional confidence.

The ASYE will supersede the existing programmes of support for newly qualified social workers from September. 

Employers of newly qualified social workers are not legally obliged to offer the ASYE; however, a Freedom of Information request sent by Community Care to 142 local authorities in England showed three quarters (74%) are planning to implement the scheme across children’s and adult services from September.

Most of the rest plan to offer the ASYE in either children’s or adult services. Seven councils said it was still under discussion.

Details of how employers can apply for funding will be made available shortly on the Department for Education and Skills for Care websites. 

“We are committed to improving the quality and availability of training for all social workers in order that the most vulnerable children and adults in our communities receive the best possible support,” said children’s minister Tim Loughton, who announced the funding with care services minister Paul Burstow.
 
“I am confident employers will use the funding we have announced to give newly qualified social workers a great start to their careers.”

Anne Mercer, professional advisor for the College of Social Work, said: “This will undoubtedly help encourage all employers to take up the ASYE, which is essential for newly qualified social workers.
 
“The College is looking forward to working with employers and social workers to help facilitate ASYE from September, through issuing certificates to those who successfully complete their ASYE and undertaking quality assurance to ensure national consistency.”

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