Northumberland County Council Careers

‘Step up’ to Social Work


About the role

See advert text
Bursary payment of £19833 paid over the duration of the programme

If you are keen to become a social worker with children, young people and families in Northumberland the Step Up to Social Work programme can offer you a unique opportunity to receive support while you are training to start your new career.

The Service.

Social work is both a challenging and rewarding career through which you can make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable children and families. You will need to build relationships with families facing difficult times, show a lot of patience and be a good listener. You will also need good observational skills, analytical thinking and sound judgement to make the right decisions and protect children. Social work regularly tests resilience, stamina, and resolve – all of which you will need to succeed. Social work can be life changing for those you support.


Step Up To Social Work is a 14-month, full-time training programme for talented graduates and career changers. On the programme, you will receive hands-on experience of working in a real-life social work role through placements in Northumberland, whilst undertaking your qualification. Once you’ve successfully completed the course, you’ll be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work enabling you to apply to register and practice as a social worker supporting vulnerable children and families here in Northumberland. Myth buster! Whilst Northumberland is vast geographically our safeguarding teams are based in localities therefore no more travel than working elsewhere!


In the North East the Step Up to Social Work programme is delivered by a successful partnership of all 12 local authorities and Manchester Metropolitan University. SUSW will be able to support 52 participants across the region on the programme commencing in January 2024.


When does the programme run?


Successful applicants will start the programme in January 2024, and complete their training in March 2025. The programme only runs once every two years, dependent on government funding, so if you are interested don’t miss out on your chance to apply!


Can I apply?


We are looking for dedicated individuals who have experience of working with vulnerable children, young people, families or vulnerable adults and who can demonstrate their maturity and emotional resilience. We encourage applications from a diverse range of candidates and aim to have a workforce that represents the society that we serve.


To apply will need to have a minimum 2:2 degree qualification (level 6) and GCSEs in English or English Language and Mathematics at grade C or above, or the new grade 4 and above (or an approved equivalent).

The Role.

Northumberland is a great place to be a Social Worker with a starting salary of £35,411 during your time in our Children’s Social Work Academy to complete your Assessed and Supported Year in Employment. This increases incrementally to £39,493. Northumberland’s Academy provides a protected caseload and significant support/training opportunities to start your journey into social work.

We are offering.

The Department for Education covers the cost of your university tuition on the programme and provides a tax-free bursary of £19,833 paid monthly over the duration of the programme to support you during your training.

Further information.

You can find out more about the regional programme and register to attend a drop in session here:


You can also find out more and apply here:


If you would like to know more about how the programme works in Northumberland, or opportunities for employment as a social worker on completion please contact Su Kaur (Principal Social Worker) by e-mail Feel free to leave your phone number if you would prefer a call back!

We want to ensure that all employees, future employees and applicants are treated equally regardless of age, gender, marital or civil partnership status, colour, ethnic or national origin, culture, religious belief, philosophical belief, political opinion, disability, gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation. If you require any additional support or adjustments to help you make an application, please contact us at

Ready to apply?


Step 1:

Apply using the link below


Step 2:

We’ll contact you for a phone interview


Step 3:

We’ll carry out a face to face interview


Step 4:

We'll let you know if you've been successful or not within 7 days!

‘Step up’ to Social Work