Recent conference explored transition from student to social worker

A recent Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) conference explored the challenges facing a social work student leaving university and making the transition into the world of work as a newly qualified social worker (NQSW). 

GCU, in partnership with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS), the Scottish Association of Social Workers (SASW), Social Work Scotland and the Scottish Government joined 150 final year students as well as NQSWs from across Scotland to share information and experience with the aim of helping to shape the future direction of social work.

As well as providing an opportunity to network and engage in discussion about this important transition, the conference provided an opportunity to inform the review of the social work degree.

The purpose of the conference was to:

  • provide an opportunity for students and NQSWs to debate and inform the future direction of social work
  • increase knowledge of what supports a successful transition from student to practitioner
  • increase understanding of what type of learning culture supports social work practitioners

A diverse range of workshops enabled participants to hear about a range of approaches to supporting NQSWs, and created a space to think about their developing professional  identity.

Leading figures in social work presented on some of  the opportunities and challenges facing newly qualified social workers, including:

  • Alison Petch , Director, IRISS
  • Alan Baird Scottish Government Chief Social Work Adviser
  • Martin Kettle, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Mairi-Anne Macdonald, SSSC Director of Sector Development
  • Harry Stevenson, President, Social Work Scotland.

Find out more about the day here: