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Lincolnshire social services is boosting the number of qualified social workers in the county with a special partne...
Lincolnshire social services is boosting the number of qualified social workers in the county with a special partnership scheme.
Managers have teamed up with Nottingham Trent University to help nine trainees become fully fledged social workers in children and family services.
The trainees were recruited last autumn and should qualify within two years through a programme of distance learning, university modules and in-house work placements.
The scheme aims to tackle the shortage of qualified staff in Lincolnshire, a problem that county councils face nationwide.
Vacant social work assistant posts across the county were converted into trainee positions, creating three new posts in the South, two in the West and four in the East.
Over 150 people applied for the positions.
The trainees will complete most of their studies while in the workplace, accessing course material on the internet.
Those with little social work experience will complete a year's work in situ before starting university studies.
Trainees with a wealth of experience were fast-tracked and have already started the course.
'In common with most local authorities, recruitment of qualified social workers in general, and in children's services in particular, has become increasingly difficult over the last few years,' said Matt Bukowski, director of Lincolnshire social services.
'At the same time we recognised we had many unqualified staff locally who work with great skill and enthusiasm in children's services but for whom the process of giving up time to become qualified is hard to achieve.
'This scheme is an attempt to support a small number of staff to improve their qualification levels and, in doing so, help ensure this important area of social care provision is properly staffed.'
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