‘It’s my time now’: the experiences of social work degree apprentices

Stone, Clare and Worsley, Aidan (2022) ‘It’s my time now’: the experiences of social work degree apprentices. Social Work Education, 41 (4). pp. 675-690. ISSN 0261-5479

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Abstract

The Social Work Degree Apprenticeship is the latest addition to an ever-growing proliferation of routes through the professional qualification. Mainly recruiting current social care employees, apprenticeships are broadly structured around a ‘day release’ model where work-based learning is highly valued and the academic content is compressed but supported through a variety of mechanisms in the workplace and university. This article reports on small-scale research on the characteristics and experiences of the very first cohort of these apprentices at a university in the North West of the UK, during the first two years of their studies. Data gathering overlapped with the move into a period of COVID-19 lockdown. Using a survey method, both qualitative and quantitative data are presented and contextually discussed under four key headings established through thematic analysis: advancement, the one-day apprentice, support and impact. The research reveals a highly qualified and experienced intake of apprentices who feel well supported and that positive impacts are being made on their practice. The article concludes with some observations on what needs to change to maximize the benefits of this qualifying route, whilst also reflecting on its attractiveness to employers in terms of cost and retention.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Social Work Education
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3301
Subjects:
ID Code:
177456
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
20 Oct 2022 10:55
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 11:56