Social Work Apprenticeships
The Children’s Social Care team now offer several Social Work Apprenticeships within the Children and Families and Initial response teams across Devon. The scheme allows you to gain ‘on the job’ experience while working towards an honours degree in Social Work with the Open University (OU).
This 3.5-year apprenticeship is an excellent way for you to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to become a qualified social worker. The apprenticeship is full-time or minimum of 30 hours a week. However, there will be off-the-job protected training time to allow you to engage with the academic element of the scheme.
Completing your apprenticeship with us in Children’s social care has many benefits, including an attractive salary, an excellent package of benefits (the advantage of being a DCC employee), and the support of a dedicated mentor. You will also have access to a wide range of learning and development opportunities within Children’s Social Care to help you progress within your role. In addition, DCC will also cover the cost of your study fees for you. However, you must stay with DCC for two years after achieving the qualification.
Social Work England (SWE) has approved the OU degree programme. After completing the apprenticeship, you will gain a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Work and can register with SWE. Upon completion, you will also be able to apply for a newly qualified social worker role with DCC and progress onto our ASYE programme to continue your career and transition into an experienced social worker.
What does the degree part of the apprenticeship involve?
The BA (Hons) programme has six modules in total, and we hope with support and dedicated training time, you will aim to undertake two modules each year. The first two will provide an introduction to the organisation of social care in the UK and develop your awareness of the different components of good social work practice. The third module covers legal issues related to social care and social work, including regulating social care decision-making.
You will then progress through two practice-focused (work-based) learning modules, which include a defined period of assessed practice learning. In these work-based and blended learning modules, you must reflect on your role and document your acquisition of skills and competencies in your portfolio. The final module consolidates learning in preparation for the apprenticeship End-point Assessment.
For more information on the programme and a more thorough overview, visit the OU website.
To be eligible for the apprenticeship
Be over 16 years old and not in full-time education.
Have the right to live and work in England.
Spend at least 50% of your working hours in England.
Have evidence of suitable academic ability, i.e., GCSE grade 9–4 (A*–C). Or Functional/Key Skills Level 2 in English and maths, or a certified equivalent.
Have an enhanced DBS with lists check (checks against all registers including both children and vulnerable adults) dated within one year prior to starting the programme.
Achieve an International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS) score of 7 (if English is not your first language).
Demonstrate IT competence through self-declaration.
Have direct and varied work experience with children and families. With the potential to take on the challenges and responsibilities of a qualified social worker.
Be keen to learn and motivated to succeed.
The first intake of social work apprentices in Children’s Social Care joined their teams in January 2023.
Tamzin, Apprentice Social Worker, is based in the Children and Families team in North Devon, and stated:
“I always wanted to work in Children’s Social Care as I always had a keen interest in working with children. In my last role as a Teaching Assistant, I really enjoyed working with the safeguarding lead and had a keen interest in helping children in need.
“I joined the Children and Families team in North Devon as an apprentice in January, and I’m really enjoying my experience so far, and everyone is very lovely. I am enjoying meeting new people and seeing how everyone works. It is interesting to see how every social worker and family practitioner works differently and how they look at a situation – then apply this to how I would like to work and what I would incorporate into my practice.
“As for the future, I look forward to progressing in my career as a social worker and growing my confidence in the field. I am also looking forward to working with a range of people throughout the different teams. I want to progress and learn as much as possible to make sure my practice is the best I can be.”
- Applications will open on Monday 13th March – for the apprenticeship programme starting in October 2023.
- The closing date for applications is: 23rd April.
- Shortlisted candidates must attend a virtual assessment centre on Thursday 18th May for the initial group exercise and written test.
- Interviews will be held from 19th- 24th May. If selected for an interview, you will be required to complete a further supporting statement for the Open University.
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