Portsmouth young people aspire for future careers in social care

A group of young people in Portsmouth have been inspired by seeing first-hand how social workers in the city can transform lives.

Each young person visited organisations across the city who support families during their time of need. They also met with different teams at Portsmouth City Council to understand what it takes to be a social worker.

The young people who took part in the activity all live in Portsmouth and are currently studying health and social care courses at the University of Portsmouth or Highbury College. They hope the experience will inspire others to consider a career in the profession. To do this, they shadowed a social worker for the day to experience what the role entails.

Councillor Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council said: “Social work is a hugely rewarding job and one that benefits everyone in our community.

“Work experience is a great way for someone to get a taste of something they’ve never done before. All those who took part have shown an interest in becoming social workers and are undertaking a training course in that very subject. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.”

Maria Black, shadowed a social worker during the experience. Maria said she had always wanted to learn more about the profession.

Maria said: “After completing a social care course at HSDC, I knew the profession was something that interested me. I’ve worked as a carer and in a hospital. This gave me the experience I needed to enrol on a social work degree at the University of Portsmouth.

“I’ve worked hard to get where I am and look forward to graduating in the future. Aspirations Week gave me real world experience in different areas of social work, enabling me to understand the rewards and challenges of the job.”

Wayne Wedge, who is in the final year of his social work degree said:When you become a social worker, you have to continually improve your practice by staying up to date through training. My degree in social work has given me what I need to begin that journey. Shadowing a social worker for the day has helped reaffirm where I am headed.

“During the experience, I learnt about the types of personal development opportunities that I could undertake to gain the skills and knowledge I need to support other people.”

Ousman Youssouf, who is enrolled on a health and care course at Highbury College said: “My qualification is a great starting point to learn more about the sector and the types of jobs that are available to me.  All are rewarding but social work is one that I knew least about. I learnt a lot about myself and what I wanted from a job in social care.

“The experience allowed me to speak with social workers who gave me useful advice about their own training and career development. It has given an idea of what I want to do in the future.”

Young people interested in becoming a social worker will now benefit from a new service set up by Portsmouth City Council. Stronger Futures provides useful resources and links to find local training providers.

For more information, visit www.strongerfutures.co.uk to learn how people can start a career in children’s social care.

Wayne Wedge, Ousman Youssouf, Maria Black and Cllr Suzy Horton

Wayne Wedge, Ousman Youssouf, Maria Black and Cllr Suzy Horton