The England degree apprenticeship: a lens to consider the national and international context of social work education

Higgs, Alison (2021). The England degree apprenticeship: a lens to consider the national and international context of social work education. Social Work Education (Early Access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2021.1873935

Abstract

This paper discusses the new English degree level social work apprenticeship scheme. Examining how it links and contrasts with modern and historical international apprenticeship models, it identifies how this route may offer new opportunities to open the profession to social care staff, while allowing employers to improve strategic workforce planning. In arguing that successful implementation of the new qualification pathway requires careful preparation and adequate resourcing, the paper highlights the importance of drawing on the extensive body of knowledge developed internationally in relation to social work education. The author discusses how this could prove challenging given the impact of government funding reductions to social care providers and other public sector bodies, and considers how long-standing debates about social work education reflect the context of global neoliberal socio-economic policies. Many of these can be seen to coalesce around the new training route.

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