This week The Times Top 100 graduate employers list 2017-18 was announced, revealing that Frontline had risen to the top 30 for the first time. Our Attraction Manager, John Batteson, shares his thoughts on this exciting news, and explains why he thinks that children’s social work is increasingly being seen as a career of choice for graduates.
I was delighted to hear that Frontline has climbed to 28 on The Times Top 100 list of graduate employers. Seeing children’s social work ranked so high on a list still dominated by historically popular graduate roles like accountancy, investment banking, consultancy and retail suggests that our hard work is paying off. Students now have a better appreciation of what being a social worker entails, and what it can offer them as they consider their career options after university.
Since I started working for Frontline in 2015 we have climbed from number 40 to our current position of 28. It would be easy to put our rapid ascent down to students’ changing perceptions of social work alone, and from the conversations I have had with young people, that is definitely a huge factor. But it is also true that student’s attitudes towards their careers are becoming much more aligned with public service in general.
According to the High Fliers 2017 Graduate Survey, students rank a number of elements as ‘very important’ in their first employment after university. These include being challenged and stretched on a daily basis (47%), having genuine responsibility from day one (40%), and being part of a structured training and development programme (38%). Perhaps most relevant to us, they also value having a job that allows you to ‘give something back’ to the community (36%). These make up four of the top five features students are looking for in their first graduate role after university. The survey plainly shows that student attitudes, behaviours and motivations are more aligned to a career in social work than they were before.
As a trainee social worker on our Leadership Development programme, you work with vulnerable children and families who are going through challenging times. After the Summer Institute, you work within a local authority team where you start working with families almost immediately. The programme is structured around practice-based learning, supported by your unit and an experienced consultant social worker.
You gain a postgraduate diploma in the first year of the programme and study towards a master’s degree in the second. Most notably, you have the opportunity to work closely with children and families in need and make a genuinely positive impact on their lives. In other words, the programme has all the elements of a career that students are looking for when they graduate.
This news comes at the ideal time. From next week the Recruitment team will be visiting universities across the country, speaking to students about Frontline and communicating social work as the positive and rewarding career it is.
Our 2018 Cohort will be made up of over 350 trainee social workers who will start the programme within local authorities across Greater London, the South East, East of England, Midlands, North East and North West. If you secure a place you will be joining one of the most prestigious graduate programmes in the country. But most importantly, you’ll have the opportunity to make a difference to vulnerable children and families.