Step Up to Social Work

Published: 15 Feb 2019

A fast-track programme to train the next generation of social workers is looking for new recruits in Hertfordshire.

Step Up to Social Work is a national government initiative which funds graduates and career changers to retrain for a rewarding career supporting children and families in need.

Since its launch in 2010, hundreds of people throughout the country have completed the programme – with 65 graduates qualifying locally. Hertfordshire County Council is the lead authority in the Central Eastern Regional Partnership, along with Luton Council and Bedford Borough Council, and has been running the programme since its inception.

The scheme offers students a bursary of just under £20,000 to support them whilst in training on the 14-month programme. Learning takes place through a combination of university and placement based study, and after completing their training the new graduates join the council’s Children’s Services department as newly-qualified social workers.

Applications are now open for the next cohort of graduates to join the scheme with funding available for 26 places across the Central Eastern Regional Partnership. Around 15 of these trainees will be placed in Hertfordshire. Applications from males, and people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds are particularly welcomed.

Councillor Teresa Heritage, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “Since its launch in 2010 this scheme has helped us to redress the shortfall of social workers that is being experienced nationally, while at the same time offering the incentive to potential recruits of moving into paid employment more quickly.”

“The majority of our graduates have remained working in Hertfordshire and are enjoying their new, fulfilling careers in social work.”

Danielle Imbert, who graduated from Step Up in 2017 and now works in Hertfordshire Children’s Services, said: “I've got a degree and when I thought about applying for a social work course it meant I'd have to do a Masters, which I wouldn't be able to afford. Step Up was a perfect opportunity to be able to take a career break and be paid to study and to qualify."

To find out more about the course, eligibility and how to apply, please visit: