Building a pipeline for workforce readiness in social work graduates
What is the internship?
The Centre is implementing new workforce initiatives to explore ways to attract new workers and strengthen the sector. The Paid Internship Program is one such initiative. Preliminary data from the 2020 pilot program is showing positive outcomes for both interns and community service organisations.
Through the program, students entering the final year of their social work course from a participating university complete their Field Education placement and are concurrently employed with a local organisation. The length of the internship is determined by the individual service agency (e.g. 30, 40, 45 weeks).* The security of a set weekly income helps to alleviate financial burden for students, and their exposure to different teams within the organisation offers valuable breadth of experience.
Interns are provided:
- Paid employment for 2 days per week, remunerated at a minimum rate of SCHADS Award Grade 2 Paypoint 1
- Guaranteed Field Education experience within the same organisation. To ensure compliance with the Australian Social Work Education & Accreditation Standards (ASWEAS), this component will be undertaken in another program separate to their paid work role.
- Access to individual supervision within their agency of employment.
- Opportunity to network and gain knowledge within the family and community service sector.
- A supportive environment for integrating classroom learning with opportunities for practical field application for ready workforce transition.
* There is no guarantee of ongoing employment beyond this time.
Information for Universities and Community Service Organisations (CSOs)
Students entering their final year of a social work course with a participating university will be invited to apply via their Field Education Coordinator. Applications will be assessed by a panel including universities, CSOs,and other project staff.
Role of organisations
Interested CSOs provide opportunity for students to be engaged in part-time paid work (0.4 EFT), and guaranteed Field Education experience for 70 days. Organisations will be supported by project staff throughout the recruitment process, and then undertake their usual onboarding procedures with the successful applicant (e.g. employment contract, Crimchecks, WWCC, workplace induction etc.)
Role of universities
Universities will facilitate the process by distributing and collating applications, confirming that applicants meet the requirements of the internship and providing usual ongoing support regarding Field Education to ensure compliance with the ASWEAS.