A four-image header showing children smiling, older people receiving support and two other pictures of social workers delivering support and advice

Every year, we have social work apprenticeship roles available across both children's and adults social care.

These apprenticeships are nationally recognised professional qualifications, and social work apprentices are paid whilst also learning new skills to help them progress in their roles and careers.

Social work apprentice recruitment January 2023 intake

The recruitment process for our next group of social work apprentices in adult social care is underway.

Details of how to apply can be found on the jobs page.

The apprenticeships are nationally recognised professional qualifications, and social work apprentices are paid whilst also learning new skills to help them progress in their roles and careers.

Social work apprenticeships are available for anyone who has at least two years’ relevant experience of working in a health and social care or community setting and has at least five GCSEs at grade C or above (or equivalent) including English language and maths.

Applications for the social work apprentice scheme must be submitted by Tuesday 27 September.

The advertised roles are based in adult social care. The children's social work apprentice route will this year be available to internal applicants only.

Frequently asked questions

Who do social workers work with?

Social workers can work with a whole range of different people, which may include:

  • Children or adults with care and support needs, who are at risk of abuse or neglect
  • Young people who have disabilities or mental health needs
  • Young people in the youth justice system
  • Children and families where there may be safeguarding concerns
  • Children who need to live apart from their families
  • Foster carers and adopters
  • Older people who have care and support needs
  • People of all ages with a learning disability, mental health difficulties, physical disability or acquired brain injury
  • Refugees and asylum seekers
  • Adult carers and young carers
  • People with alcohol, drug or other substance misuse problems
  • People who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless
  • Children in need of support and protection
  • Children in care
  • Practitioners from different agencies like, schools, health and voluntary services
What do social workers do?

What do social workers do?

The role of a social worker can be varied and challenging. It can include:

  • Visiting people wherever they are (which could be at home or in, for example, in foster care, residential care or a care home, hospital, supported accommodation setting or prison)
  • Working alongside individuals and their families to assess and review their situation and plan their support
  • Where safe to do so work to keep children and families together
  • Writing up assessments and other documentation accurately and within required guidelines
  • Providing information, guidance and support
  • Arranging and organising support to help people to lead the fullest lives possible
  • Advising, recommending and sometimes making decisions about the best course of action for a particular person or family
  • Liaising with, and making referrals to other services and agencies
  • Attending, taking part in or chairing meetings with families, individuals and other professionals
  • Maintaining accurate records and preparing reports for legal proceedings
  • Giving evidence in court
  • Taking part in training, supervision and team meetings.
  • Listening and responding to the wishes and feelings of children and their parents/carers
What's an expected salary for a social worker?

In Warrington, our social work apprentices are paid at Grade 6 (SCP 15-22) £23,953-27,514 for the 3 years of their apprenticeship. At the point of qualification, a newly qualified social worker (NQSW) would progress to Grade 7 (SCP 23-27) £28,226-31,895).

Social workers in Warrington have the opportunity to progress throughout their career. For instance, becoming:

  • An experienced social worker at Grade 8 (SCP 28-32) £32,798-£36,371
  • A senior practitioner at Grade 9 (SCP 33-37) £37,569-£41,591
  • Social work manager at Grade 10 and above (salaries from £42, 614).

These salary figures are at April 2022.

Salaries in social work can vary depending on a range of factors, including the council you work for, the setting you work in, your skills and experience and any further qualifications you obtain (eg Approved Mental Health Practitioner; Practice Educator)

The income figures above are a guide only and may be subject to change and review.

What our social work apprentices say

Suzanne - social work apprentice, children's services

From July 2022

"I'm over 2 years into my apprenticeship and I'm about to enter the Endpoint Assessment which will take me to November when I will qualify.

"I had worked for the council for nearly 20 years in a variety of social work teams – Children with Disabilities, transition and a behaviour support team prior to this. I had wanted to train as a social worker but was unable to afford to do this (giving up work would mean losing my income), so the apprenticeship was a good way of entering the profession.

"The apprenticeship has been a lot of work and I have had to be organised and sometimes give up free time for study. However, it has really been worth it as I love the social work that I am undertaking  - the apprenticeship suits my style of learning as you put what you learn in university into your practice and vice versa. A lot of my assignments have included information learnt on the job.

"Throughout the apprenticeship, the ethos of being a social worker has become much clearer. I understand that being emotionally intelligent is a key skill as well as understanding the practical parts; the laws and processes. I understand that looking at the wider picture is essential when working with children, young people and their carers. As the course has proceeded my confidence has grown, it felt daunting at first but the way the course is set out means you will work at your own pace and have regular mentor sessions and meetings with the university."

Jen - adult social care

From July 2022

"I'm 17 months into my apprenticeship. I have worked in social care for the council for 22 years and although I do have various qualifications, I do not have a degree. The practicality and financial implications of leaving work to study were not viable for my situation. So when this opportunity was rolled out I knew it was a perfect path for me. 

"The apprenticeship has been life changing, it has given me a complete different focus in my life and has given me some reachable goals that have also impacted my home life positively.

"It has taken a potential financial stress I would have had, if I had left to complete my degree. I have made some amazing friends in university that I catch up with regular, even when away from university.

"If Social work is a field you wish to enter this is by far the best pathway, you are able to learn and educate yourself, while also putting into practice what you learn.

"Warrington is a very supportive council with a great management structure that really do want their work force to progress and grow."

Emma - adult social care

From July 2022

"I am final year apprentice, due to qualify November 2022. The apprenticeship has enabled my academic knowledge to increase, which has supported my practice in a positive way. It has improved my resilience and my organisation skills, ensuring I am able to manage working, uni deadlines and a young family.

"My skills and knowledge have improved significantly over the three years of my apprenticeship and this has then increased my confidence, meaning I feel more able to manage complex cases."

Peter - adult social care

From July 2022

"I am currently in my second year of three years - I am currently completing my placement which is the third of four modules this year.

"Social work has been a long term goal for me for approximately 15 years. I completed the Assistant Practitioner degree several years ago but still wanted to become qualified. Having worked in a social work team for over ten years, I felt it would be a personal achievement for me to have a degree which reflects my ongoing work in Social Work.

"The scheme has been grounding for me. It has helped me realise that although I have experience and knowledge, there is still so much more to learn and to develop. 

"The apprenticeship has been a really good learning experience, particularly as you are still doing the job and learning at the same time; it is a better way to learn in my opinion.

"Further advice would be to make sure you slowly chip away at your portfolio each week, and don’t leave it to the last minute like me!"





Want to find out more, or interested in a career in social work?