12 May 2011
Local people who want to train as social workers are being offered the opportunity in Jersey after successfully applying for 4 trainee social work posts. These were created from within existing Community and Social Services staffing resources.
The scheme to train people locally - which already happens successfully with nurses - is part of a Health and Social Services (HSS) strategy to ensure there are sufficient numbers of locally recruited social workers to work in the Island, despite national and local shortages due to recruitment and retention difficulties.
An initial recruitment campaign attracted 176 applications and was followed by a detailed selection process which involved candidates going through an assessment centre and a final interview process.
Local experience and distance learning
The trainee social workers will all gain work experience with Community and Social Services before they undertake a 3-year social work degree via distance learning.
Work experience within the department means that the trainees work alongside qualified staff to learn about services for both vulnerable adults and children.
Trainees to provide future care
Speaking about the new additions to Health and Social Service’s frontline workforce, HSS Minister Deputy Anne Pryke said “It is wonderful that we are able to train our own social workers in the Island. This scheme is a good idea and matches the idea of our home-grown nurses who are trained locally, at a time when we are looking at providing the best health and social care in the future for Islanders.”
John Cox, Service Manager at HSS’s Community and Social Services department said “We were very impressed with both the volume of applications and the high quality of the candidates. It was very difficult to make the final selection. The successful applicants stood out as talented individuals with all-round skills. Social work is a challenging and rewarding career.
“The work experience they gain with us will be valuable and will usefully contribute to completing their social work qualification. It is essential that the most vulnerable in the community are helped by people with suitable skills, and we look forward to welcoming the social workers of the future to our busy teams.”