A government-backed fast-track training scheme for social workers has opened for applications.
The Step Up to Social Work programme, will take on 550 graduates for its fifth cohort, which starts in January 2018. Applications close on 5 May.
Trainees on the 14-month course receive a bursary of more than £19,000 and have their tuition fees paid. The minimum entry requirement is a 2:1 degree or a 2:2 degree plus a higher level qualification. The course is delivered by regional partnerships of councils and universities.
Children’s minister Edward Timpson said the scheme offered a “fantastic opportunity” for people to enter social work and help children and families.
“We want all young people to be able to go as far as their talents will take them, and part of that is making sure childhood is a happy and safe time in their lives.
“I have been inspired by previous graduates of the programme, and I’m sure this year will be no different. I look forward to meeting the next generation of social workers who will be transforming children’s lives.”
Isabelle Trowler, the chief social worker for children, said: I know from my own experience what a challenging and fulfilling career child and family social work is, and I’m pleased to see that this programme is encouraging more people to consider it.
“Programmes like this one are attracting hundreds of talented graduates each year, who could make a real difference to the lives of children and families.”
The government has previously said it wants 3,000 children’s social workers have qualified through fast-track routes by 2021. Ministers are investing £100m in Step up to Social Work and the Frontline fast-track programme in a bid to meet the target.