Skills for Care

How the ASYE can support retention of newly-qualified social workers

24 Jan 2024

3 min read

Skills for Care

  • Learning and development
  • Social work
  • Retention

We look at how the assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE) for newly qualified social workers can help to support retention.

What is the ASYE?

The Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) is a 12-month programme of support and assessment for newly qualified social workers.

It supports newly qualified social workers in the first year of their career.


How can the ASYE support retention of social workers?

We spoke with Jodie Wakefield, Consultant Social Work Educator, Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT) about how they’ve seen the ASYE support retention and progression for newly-qualified social workers in their area.

MPFT and Staffordshire County Council run a Social Work Learning Academy across all their adult social work services.

This supports social workers through their entire career trajectory from students to the ASYE to further development, such as becoming an approved mental health practitioner (AHMP).

Having this in place provides a very solid foundation to support people at each stage of their career and to retain and develop social workers over the long term.

The ASYE programme has been running in the area for over ten years, and they support around 40 newly qualified social workers each year to complete their ASYE.

Jodie completed her ASYE with MPFT 10 years ago, so is herself an example of someone who’s been retained following the ASYE to develop and progress in her career.

Jodie highlights that the ASYE means that newly qualified social workers have got support and development within the first 12 months of their career, which sets the foundation for learning and development to be valued throughout their whole career.

Skills for Care data highlights that training and qualifications have a positive impact on staff retention rates.

At MPFT, they’ve seen that when people complete their ASYE they tend to stay afterward. Since having a structured ASYE programmed in place, they’ve seen their retention rates increase.

Jodie says the robust ASYE programme and the ongoing focus on learning and development and appraisals to help people progress in their career is a key attraction for newly qualified social workers.

Part of this is a 360 review process, which gets feedback from both the newly qualified social workers and the ASYE assessors.

Positive feedback from the newly qualified social workers has highlighted the value of the focus on continued professional development from day one and throughout their career journey. They’ve also been pleased to hear that the assessors feel supported in their roles too.

The authority also offers ‘My time meetings’ between all newly qualified social workers, the social work learning academy, and managers, which is an opportunity to plan out individuals' career journeys, review the different options available and set next steps to meet those goals. This could be progressing into a manager role, but it also includes many other progression routes such as becoming a work-based supervisor, a practice educator or an AMHP.

Jodie says that this ongoing support around the many learning pathways available in social work is one reason they experience strong retention rates with their newly-qualified social workers who complete the ASYE.


Find out more about the ASYE.

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