Do Wirral residents have what it takes to ‘Step Up’ to social work?

17 February 2023
Close up image of a man's smiling face, with the words 'be the difference'. At the foot are logos for the Step Up to Social Work programme and the Department for Education.
Applications for the Step Up to Social Work programme opens on Friday 17 February 2023.

Recruitment for an intensive and rewarding career programme called Step Up to Social Work opens today.

Launched and funded by the Department for Education, the Step Up to Social Work programme is a unique opportunity for eligible people to receive support while training to start a new career in social work.

Social work is a career through which you can make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable children and families. Wirral Council has led the regional partnership for the Step Up to Social Work programme for seven cohorts, successfully training more than 200 social workers.

Cllr Kathy Hodson, Chair of Wirral Council’s Children, Young People & Education Committee, said:

Individuals looking to embark on this fantastic programme will need to build relationships with families facing difficult times. You will need to show a lot of patience, be a good listener and have sound judgement to make the right decisions and protect children.

Social work is a rewarding career which regularly tests resilience and resolve. I’d encourage any eligible residents looking for a new challenge to apply in Wirral.

Your future in social work could be life changing for those you support.

During the programme, successful applicants will receive hands-on experience of working in a real-life social work role through placements in local authorities within Cheshire and Merseyside, whilst undertaking their qualification.

Those who successfully complete the course will be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work, enabling them to apply to register and practice as a social worker.

The Department for Education will cover the cost of university tuition on the programme and provide a tax-free bursary of £19,833, paid over the duration of the programme, to support learners during their training.

Recruitment for the programme is open from today (Friday 17 February 2023), with interview processes scheduled for June/July 2023, and a January 2024 programme start date.

Cllr Hodson said:

This exciting opportunity only runs once every two years, dependent on government funding so if you are interested, or know someone who might be, I’d urge you to make sure you don’t miss out on your chance to apply now.

Applications are open until 24th March 2023.

Click the link to apply here.

Step Up to Social Work entry criteria

To apply to the programme, you’ll need a minimum of:

  • A 2:2 (level 6) degree qualification, for example an honours degree or a graduate certificate (this can be in any subject).
  • GCSEs in English or English Language and Mathematics at grade C or above, or the new grade 4 and above (or an approved equivalent).
  • Six months’ full-time (or equivalent) direct experience, either in a paid or voluntary capacity, of working with vulnerable children, young people and/or families, carers or vulnerable adults.

Applicants will need to show all of their original certificates as part of the application and assessment process. If you cannot find these, you can order replacements online.

Applications from a diverse range of candidates are encouraged as the programme aims to have a workforce that represents the society that they serve.

For more information, visit: