Children's social care workforce Become a social worker

If you're interested in becoming a social worker, in addition to the traditional route of studying a social work degree full time there are alternative routes available, including studying whilst you work as a trainee social worker or the 'Step up to social work' fast-track programme.

Social work apprenticeship

Our first cohort of trainee social workers commenced employment on 13 January 2020.

As a trainee social worker you'd be an employee of Children Services, working four days a week in a social work team and one day a week studying for a social work degree over a period of three years.

The role of trainee social worker is full time. Successful candidates must be able to drive, have experience of working with children and families, and have English and Maths GCSE (grade A - C or equivalent).

Vacancies for the exciting opportunity and highly sought after role of trainee social worker are advertised only once a year, and are advertised on our careers website. If you'd like further information or to request to be included on our mailing list for further updates, please email

Step up to social work

'Step up to social work' is an intensive, 14-month, full time, national programme run by the Department for Education, during which you'll receive a bursary.

As a trainee social worker on this programme you would work in a local authority, gaining hands-on practitioner experience and academic learning. We're currently participating in the West Midlands regional programme.

Upon successful completion you're awarded a postgraduate diploma in social work, allowing you to register with Social Work England and practice as a social worker.

Find out more about how to apply.