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All places filled on Jersey’s first social work degree course

25 July 2019

All 15 places on a new BA (Hons) Social Work (Jersey) degree, run by University College Jersey at Highlands College, have been filled. 

The news comes in the same week as the Government of Jersey announced that 17 new social workers have also been recruited as part of the Let’s Be Honest campaign to build a highly skilled workforce of social workers and end the island’s reliance on temporary and agency staff.

The decision to establish this degree course in the island was made following the recommendations of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, one of which outlined the need to build a stable and competent workforce.

Education Minister Senator Tracey Vallois said: “This is a significant investment by the government that will ensure that by 2022 Jersey will have its own highly skilled on-island social work training unit. This investment in training will significantly reduce the costs of hiring temporary and agency staff in the future and will hopefully provide continuity in care. 

“We remain fully committed to progressing the recommendations of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry and ensuring that Jersey’s children and young people receive appropriate help and support throughout their lives. The course is for all social workers including those who choose to work with vulnerable adults. This will be a unique partnership with the University of Sussex who will be co-teaching the course with a local team of lecturers for the first three years of the course.

“This is a significant step in building a home-grown workforce of social workers. It is the first time that local students will benefit from being taught by experienced social work academics and researchers with on-island tutorial support.”

Placements begin in January 2021 and will be on-island so that students learn law, policy and practice in Jersey in addition to looking at good practice elsewhere.

In addition to the degree programme, students will take an Institute of Law Certificate in Jersey Social Work Law in their first year to ensure that they have the required legal knowledge to work in the island.

Assistant Education Minister Deputy Jeremy Maçon praised the work of Highlands College in responding to a skills shortage for social workers.

“We work to ensure that provision of higher education for critical subject areas are offered locally where possible,” he said. “This will enable our workforce of the future to be nurtured and developed on island. This will not only improve our productivity but also reduce the need to rely on skilled migration from the UK. Our Post-16 Strategy focuses on developing the capacity, capability and flexibility of islanders to access job markets across varying industries in Jersey. I wish all involved on this very exciting studying opportunity the very best of luck.”

The BA (Hons) Social Work (Jersey) will involve both academic study and 200 days of practice learning where students apply theory to practice and starts on Monday, 16 September 2019.

Anyone interested in studying on this course from September 2020 is invited to attend the next open evening on Thursday, 14 November 2019 from 5.30pm to 7pm. This informal event will cover entry requirements, selection process, how to be successful at interview as well as give people the chance to talk to social workers and experts by experience. Booking for this event will open at the end of October.​

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