Collaborative Commissioning- Apprenticeships

London Boroughs are working together to address the challenge of Social Worker Recruitment

  • By Spike van der V...

Background

Boroughs have been working together to explore how they can closely collaborate to realise the benefits of the Social Worker Apprenticeship Standard, which was published in December 2018.

All London boroughs face challenges recruiting Social Workers in both Children and Adult services. The apprenticeship is seen as an excellent opportunity to address chronic shortages by growing their own, whether that is new opportunities or progression for existing staff.

One challenge remains that boroughs cannot answer individually- how to ensure an employer led apprenticeship programme that is fit for purpose and creates an effective training route? It has been accepted by many boroughs that close coordination of commissioning and engagement is a key way to address the challenge and should be explored.

Activity

As a result of this appetite- London Councils, London ADASS and Skills for Care have collaborated to achieve:

  • A social worker apprenticeship conference, which raised appetite across the boroughs. This greatly raised the understanding of Principal Social Workers and Levy Leads.
  • Workshops that explore how collective commissioning and procurement could work.
  • Extensive shaping of a future tender using social care expertise to shape what a Social Worker Apprenticeship would best look like in London.
  • Engagement with providers, to understand the practicalities involved in delivering a transformative and innovative route into the profession.

The documents attached to this article capture the thinking to-date of over 100 officers who have participated in the process.

Next steps

It is hoped these relationships and approaches can be replicated for other apprenticeships that are closely aligned with local government professions.

There are no public details on commissioning at this stage and no provider has been informed on the conversations or thinking around this.

When information on how to tender is available, this webpage will be updated alongside links from partner websites. We will then inform provider networks that we have contact with.

Spike van der Vliet-Firth, Principal Policy Officer