Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

Social Work apprenticeship gives Kate’s career a boost

Published: 10 March 2021 at 15:00

Kate Williams

ARU is working with local authorities to upskill the adult social care workforce

A loyal employee from Thurrock has told how a degree apprenticeship got her career back on track, and sent her on the path to realise her ambition of becoming a qualified social worker. 

Kate Williams, from Grays, has worked in adult social care across many different teams for more than a decade, but during that time, she had been unable to fulfil her aspirations to study at university.

However, a new degree apprenticeship, developed by Anglia Ruskin University in partnership with her employer, Thurrock Council, provided a new pathway to finally allow Kate to study for a Social Work degree while continuing to work. 

Speaking during the inaugural Social Work Week, Kate, 34, said:

“I had been through some challenging years personally, and had lost confidence in my working role. There had been talks for a while about funding Social Work degrees, so when the opportunity for the apprenticeship became available, I did not hesitate to apply.

“The apprenticeship route offered by Thurrock Council was an amazing opportunity. To financially maintain my home and continue in paid employment, while my employer also paid the cost of my degree, has been a real gift.”

Kate spends one day a week studying with ARU, and the remaining four in the workplace. The apprenticeship will equip her to work in either adult or children’s services once she completes the course and registers with Social Work England as a qualified social worker. She added:

“The apprenticeship has already given me a variety of different experiences and I have learned so much in a very short space of time.

“The transferrable skills I have been able to show in my placement will benefit my career in social work. I feel that I will have more knowledge to be able to support my team, the wider department and, most importantly, the people we support.”