Barnsley degree apprenticeships for next generation of children’s social workers 

Metropolitan Borough Council offers new social worker degree apprenticeships to students at Barnsley College. 

A local authority in South Yorkshire is being proactive about the shortage in children’s social workers by offering apprenticeship degrees to students at the local further education college, free of tuition fees.  

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The apprenticeships will be available from later this year, combining on-the-job experience with more formal learning and development delivered by Sheffield Hallam University. Those taking part will be supported in their development across a wide range of settings, such as early help services, looked after children and safeguarding teams. 

In fulfilling the course, apprentices will qualify with a BA (Hons) in Social Work approved by specialist regulator Social Work England. They’ll then be ready to take up places in a broad range of social work roles. 

Degree apprenticeships taking between one and five years to complete, with apprentices gaining a university-level qualification and work experience, with no tuition fees to pay. Since apprentices also earn a wage while working and studying, they can complete the apprenticeship debt free. 

Carly Speechley, Executive Director for Children’s Services at Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, says: ‘I’m so proud that we’re able to offer this unique opportunity to Barnsley college students. Apprentices will gain a real sense of children’s social work, be supported to understand the role of a social work and gain real hands-on experience of the work a social worker undertakes on a day-to-day basis. 

‘They’ll also gain a sense of the community in which we work and the children and families who we support. It’s also a great opportunity for our children’s services, as we are growing our own social workers – I hope the apprentices will go on to develop their careers with us. 

Emma Harvey, Childcare and Health Programme Manager at Barnsley College, adds: ‘We have worked together to provide students with the opportunity to be taught by experts with real-world experience through the bespoke monthly sessions. They will bring practical knowledge and experience back into the classroom, enhancing the student’s learning and development as they actively link theory to practice. This prepares students for progressing into a social worker degree apprenticeship.’

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