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Are you motivated to train to become a Social Worker but need some more experience before training? Are you a graduate or expecting to graduate, with a good degree (2:2) and interested in training for a career in social work? Excited by the thought of completing an MA in Social Work at a top-rated University? This is an exciting opportunity for graduates to train for a career in Social Work.

The role

The Graduate Trainee Scheme offered by Norfolk County Council in partnership with the University of East Anglia offers successful applicants a retainer payment of £7,200 per year for the 2 years of the MA in Social Work programme at UEA. In addition, for those who need to gain some work experience, the scheme offers the option of one year’s paid employment prior to starting the MA.

If you would like to find out more, we are running an online information session on 6 to 7pm on 11 th April- please email jack.hawes@norfolk.gov.uk to book a place.


Successful applicants must have:

  • A 2:2 degree completed in the last six years. If applicants fall outside of this time frame, then they will need to show evidence of recent study.
  • English Language and Maths GCSE at grade C/4 or above (functional skills will only be accepted for Maths)
  • A full current UK driving licence

For those wishing to go straight onto the MA in Social Work without the year in employment:

  • At least one year’s experience of working directly with children, young people, families, carers, or adults in need of care and support in either employment or voluntary work.

Year in employment

Applicants undertaking the year in employment prior to commencing the MA will work in either a Children’s Services or Adult Social Services team. Posts are available in a range of locations across the county. For the year in employment, the salary will be £29,269 (G grade). Progression to the MA in Social Work will be subject to satisfactory performance in this role.

In Children’s Services you would be a Graduate Trainee - Family Help & High Needs based in one of a range of teams within the Family Help and High Needs Service. You will undertake direct work/interventions with children and families, in the community or in residential care, to effect positive change and contribute to assessments and plans. You will work closely with social work colleagues within Children’s Services and with partner agencies such as schools and Children’s Centres in the community to support the children and families you are working with. You will be expected to record your work on the case management system.

As a Graduate Trainee Assistant Practitioner in Adult Social Services, you will gain experience of working within a social care team with a range of service users. The work will include undertaking strength-based assessments and reviews under the Care Act, determining eligibility and working with the service user, their family and friends, and a range of other professionals to come up with person centred Care and Support plans to meet eligible needs. During your time you will gain a knowledge of the local community and what is on offer that may support the service user with their independence and prevent, reduce and delay the need for more formal care and support.

MA in Social Work

You will not be employed while undertaking the MA, but to support you with the cost of fees and living expenses, Norfolk County Council will provide you with a retainer payment of £7,200 for each of the 2 years of the MA programme. You will also be able to apply for an NHS bursary* to further help with the costs.

In return for the retainer payment, you will need to sign a contract confirming that you will return to work in a Children’s or Adult’s social work teams for a minimum of 2 years on successful completion of the course and suc­cessful job interview.

*Please note there are no guarantees of receiving an NHS bursa­ry and it will be the applicant’s responsibility to cover any shortfall of the university fees to UEA from the bursary amount awarded.

Further information and to apply

Book a place on the online information session on 6 to 7pm on 11 th April by emailing jack.hawes@norfolk.gov.uk

For any queries about this scheme, please contact Hannah Smith on hannah.smith@norfolk.gov.uk

To apply, please click on the link below. Please include the following with your application:

  • A CV or document outlining your relevant experience and all your relevant academic qualifications including subjects and grades.
  • Copies your relevant qualification certificates including degree and maths and English GCSE or equivalent.
  • A personal statement explaining why you are interested in social work, how your previous studies and experience relate to social work (if applicable), relevant aspects of previous work or voluntary experience, activities and hobbies that show your interest in the subject, and any training or achievements that show your skill.
  • Please indicate in your application whether you are applying for a post in Children’s Services or Adult Social Services.

Additional details

  • Shortlisted applicants will be asked to write an essay, complete a suitability declaration, and provide 2 references prior to interview
  • Interviews will be conducted jointly between NCC and UEA.
  • Information provided in your application will be shared with UEA for the purposes of recruitment and admissions to the MA in Social Work
  • Application closing date: 30 April 2024
  • Interview date: June/ July TBC