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Social Worker Degree Apprenticeship opens new route to the profession

Ann Flynn, Angela Gill, Kate Fawcett

The Open University has launched the new Social Worker Degree Apprenticeship which will provide a vital new work-based route into the profession.

Councils and organisations from the private and voluntary sector can utilise apprenticeship levy funds to train both new and existing social care support staff. The apprenticeship builds on the University’s long-standing experience of delivering social work training.

The Social Worker Degree Apprenticeship is a practice-based learning programme that combines on and off-the-job learning and development, delivered flexibly around the demands of the organisation. Apprentices will develop new skills and knowledge whilst carrying out a job role as part of a team in a social care setting.

At the end of the three-year programme, apprentices will receive an honours degree and be eligible to apply for registration as a social worker. 

The Open University recently ran a webinar for employers to find out more about the apprenticeship programme. The well-attended session was hosted by Apprenticeship Development Manager, Angela Gill, and Ann Flynn, Locality Lead and Staff Tutor. Questions were answered by Kate Fawcett, Head of Operations, Professional Programmes.

Watch webinar View transcript

The Open University has a strong and established track record of delivering social care education that is work-based in partnership with employers. We also add value in bringing nearly 50 years' expertise in supporting non-traditional learners into – and successfully through – higher education.

Blended learning, allows the apprentice to study at a time and place most suitable to their needs and to the needs of their service. It reduces the time required to attend classroom-based learning, but it maintains high levels of support for apprentices and thereby lessens the impact on service delivery

Ann Flynn, Locality Lead and Staff Tutor

The Open University recently completed a year-long study into improving retention and diversity in the sector – ‘Social Work for Everyone’ – funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (now Office for Students).

The project highlighted the under-representation of men, disabled and BME workers, noting that the new degree apprenticeship qualification will provide an important new route to becoming a social worker. 

Learn more about the research

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