Trainees' Views of the Step Up to Social Work Programme

Mary Baginsky*, Jill Manthorpe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


There are long-standing concerns about the quantity and quality of social workers in England. Several initiatives have sought to change application and training processes, among which are employment-based routes whereby students are placed with social work employers and receive substantial funding compared to other students, and employers are more closely engaged with higher education elements of their training. This article presents and analyses the views of the first cohort of students, termed trainees, in one such initiative, the Step Up to Social Work programme that commenced in 2010. Data were collected by online survey, administered at four time points with response rates ranging from 78% at Time 1 to 71% at Time 2, 64% at Time 3 and 71% at Time 4. Findings revealed that the respondents were largely satisfied with their training and the Step Up initiative, although reservations were expressed by some about academic teaching, programme organisation and apparent lack of account of trainees' previous experiences. Findings also reveal the type and extent of the trainees' academic achievements and professional experiences. The findings from this first cohort of trainees may usefully inform other employment-based routes and social work education more generally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-31
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Work education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2015


  • Employment-Based Training
  • Social Work Students
  • Social Work Training
  • Step Up


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