As many people know, an apprenticeship is a great way to gain a valuable qualification whilst also getting much-needed work experience and practical training. This is particularly valuable in health and social care, where specific training and qualifications for working with vulnerable people are as necessary as the work experience.
We have recently run a series of blogs covering apprenticeships in health care; you can find specific articles on nursing apprenticeships, medical degree apprenticeships and more. Today we turn our focus to social work to take a deeper look into the profession. We will be breaking down the apprenticeship standard and everything you need to know about doing a social work apprenticeship.
What is social work?
Social workers work with adults, children and families to improve the quality of their life. They support people in various aspects of their everyday life, including mental health, relationships, work, housing, and general wellbeing. A social worker will have a caseload of people they support, and it is their job to assess a person’s needs, find solutions to any problems they are facing, advocate for that person and work with them to make positive changes in their life.
Part of the job of a social worker is recognising the social and emotional causes of the difficulties in a person’s life and work to eradicate any disadvantage or discrimination which is causing that person difficulty. A social worker must have a deep capacity for empathy and be extremely socially aware.
Social work apprenticeship standard
Apprenticeship standards work as the blueprint for all apprenticeships; they guide what a specific apprenticeship should include, how an apprentice should be assessed, and details of the qualification associated with that apprenticeship. There is currently one social work apprenticeships standard, and it is a level 6 apprenticeship. This means that it is a degree apprenticeship, one of the highest levels of apprenticeship on offer.
This level 6 social work apprenticeship enables people to work as full-time social worker whilst also training for a degree with a partner university in social work. It is an excellent way to qualify as a social worker without paying any university tuition fees and earning a social worker salary as you train. The standard outlines that it typically takes around 36 months to complete, similar to a standard UK university degree.
The apprenticeship will cover working with adults, children, carers and families in a wide range of different scenarios. You will learn how to build relationships with the people you work with and their communities to assess and deal with the complex social and emotional problems a person may face. You will also learn how to protect people from harm, exploitation and abuse. This requires apprentices to be compassionate, dedicated and professional at all times.
Why do a social work apprenticeship?
- First-hand experience in the profession from day one
- A university qualification without any tuition fees
- Earning a salary from the very beginning
- A hands-on method of learning
- Opportunities to experience a variety of different types of social work