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Half a year on, BASW survey shows most still in dark about ASYE

A BASW survey suggests widespread lack of awareness of the Assessed and Supported Year of Employment (ASYE) in England, six months on from the launch of the scheme aimed at supporting newly qualified social workers in their first year of practice.

The findings mirror worries expressed by BASW members about the roll-out of the programme and the impact public sector cutbacks are having on the ability of social
services departments to deliver it.

One in five of the 182 respondents to the survey said they were not at all familiar with ASYE and two out of five were only “somewhat familiar”. Half a year after the launch of ASYE, 60% had no or little awareness of the programme while only 17% said they were very familiar with it.

A worrying 84% of respondents did not know the Government provides £2,000 funding for each ASYE candidate, while even more – 86% – were unaware that you do not need to hold the title of social worker to undertake ASYE, as long as there are sufficient elements of social work in your role.

BASW Professional Officer Joe Godden said: “The scheme is welcome in principle, but the roll-out and implementation has been patchy and confusing. Local authorities particularly do not appear focused on long-term workforce planning, but on short-term fixes evident by the repeated recruitment adverts for post three years qualified staff.

“The reality of a struggling economy, the decrease in funding for public sector provision and the increased demand on services does not bode well for the smooth running of such an important year.”

Among those polled, 86% were unaware that you do not need to hold the title of social worker to undertake ASYE, as long as there are sufficient elements of social work in your role.

Just over half did not know whether their organisation linked ASYE with a university, indicating a lack of awareness of the learning mechanisms involved.