Step Up to Social Work in Somerset

Graduates are being given the chance to change their career path this World Social Work Day (Tuesday 17 March) and make a difference to children’s lives in Somerset by Stepping Up to Social Work.

Somerset County Council, in partnership with other local authorities across the South West, has successfully bid for more than £1.6 million of Department for Education (DfE) funding towards the Step Up to Social Work programme.

The funds will be distributed between 10 local authorities in the South West to help recruit and train high quality social workers who can help make a difference to children’s lives.

The extra comes at a time when Somerset County Council is also recruiting experienced and qualified Social Workers using a dedicated website and a bold campaign which asks: “We’re up for the challenge. Are you?”

The DfE funding will provide work-based training for 47 new Social Workers across the region. Somerset County Council expects to use its allocation to recruit and train eight graduates who should qualify with a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work in early 2017.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “This announcement adds another string to our bow for the training and development that is offered to Children’s Social Workers here in Somerset.

“Every member of staff in Children’s Social Care benefits from protected time for learning, and numerous training courses and development opportunities. We are making every effort to build a strong and dedicated workforce to help ensure Somerset’s children live safer, happier and healthier lives.”

The Step Up to Social Work programme helps local authorities across England to work with a local university to design and deliver a ‘fast track’ masters level training route into social work. It aims to attract high achieving graduates with a degree of at least 2:1 in any field, who have some experience of working or volunteering with children, young people and families.

Candidates can apply from 16 March – 1 May. Interviews are likely to be held from 22 June – 17 July. Successful applicants will begin the academic and work based training in January 2016 and can expect to qualify early in 2017.

Interested graduates can apply for the programme and find more information by visiting

Somerset County Council is leading a consortium of six local authorities across the South West, which includes Bath and North East Somerset Council, North Somerset Council, South Gloucestershire Council, Swindon Borough Council and Gloucestershire County Council.

The Somerset-led consortium will be working closely with a similar South West partnership which is made up of Dorset County Council, Wiltshire Council, Poole Borough Council and Bournemouth Borough Council.