Personal development opportunities

Education, learning and personal development

Our learning and development team are here to support you. Developing our own skills through training opportunities has a positive impact on personal development as well as the services offered to young Island residents and their families. 

As a service we invest heavily in our staff because we know that confident, competent and critical thinking colleagues are pivotal to the delivery of best outcomes, moreover our colleagues have a right to expect that we take their continuing professional development (CPD) needs seriously.

Our team: 

  • work with the HR Advisory Team, Heads of Service, Team Managers and staff to identify emerging workforce development needs for a changing organisation 
  • facilitate team development sessions which identify learning needs of staff
  • analyse people performance management information
  • develop solutions to meet learning and development needs including new programmes and approaches
  • train in-house staff to deliver programmes
  • co-ordinate venues, resources and bookings 
  • evaluate the impact of training and other learning and development interventions
  • personal development opportunities

Learning and developing is part of our daily practice through regular team meetings, legislation, policy, process changes and sharing best practice across Childrens Services. We actively support personal growth and development; this includes opportunities for new staff members to continue their personal studies for progression throughout the Isle of Wight College/Portsmouth University.

Coaching and mentoring

Coaching or mentoring can be a valuable experience at many points in a career, helping you to:

  • tackle specific competencies
  • learn by reflecting on your experience
  • develop your confidence and skills
  • improve difficult relationships
  • tackle performance challenges
  • plan your career

We use coaching as a valuable tool to address learning and developing needs identified in Performance Development Reviews. The aim of this scheme is to create partnerships, outside the normal line management relationship, where one person helps another to enhance their performance, learning or development. The scheme is available to all staff.

Graduate entry scheme

The Isle of Wight Council’s children’s services team has recently joined Hampshire County Council’s Graduate Entry and Training scheme (GETs). This is an entirely new way of supporting people like you through your Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE). You will spend four weeks with the Hampshire cohort together on a bespoke induction programme before joining our children’s social care to complete our highly regarded and successful ASYE programme.

Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE)

Childrens Services are committed to supporting newly qualified social workers in their first social work post and we do this through the implementation of a robust postgraduate, competency framework referred to as the Assessed and Supported Year of Employment (ASYE). The aim of this programme is to underpin the development of the highest possible levels of professionalism, competence and confidence in your social work practice.

To date 100% of newly qualified social workers completing their framework under the ASYE programme have continued to work for our services in a permanent social worker role. 

“I have been afforded the opportunity to access training and education, allowing me to develop my confidence and competence in my social work role. I was well supported during my ASYE. Following this the council has developed continuing practice and has ensured that future learning opportunities are explored. Social work allows for opportunities for continuous learning and development.” - Tayla, Social Worker

ASYE is an employer-led 12-month programme of support and assessment against the knowledge and skills statement for social workers in adult’s services or the knowledge and skills for child and family social work for Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSWs), dependent on the service they are employed in.

The ASYE framework provides Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSWs) with a structured programme of induction into professional social work by building on the foundation of their degree, combined with existing good practice within organisations. The framework recognises that NQSWs need a range of support at different stages of their careers.

The purpose of the ASYE is to:

  • provide support during your first year as a Social Worker
  • provide NQSWs with a firm foundation for future professional development
  • to improve quality and consistency of practice among Newly Qualified Social Workers

The ASYE provides:

  • an individually-tailored programme for professional learning and development
  • a programme for peer support and learning
  • assessment against Professional Capabilities Framework at NQSW level and the relevant Knowledge and Skills Framework
  • direct observations
  • final assessment against the Professional Capabilities Framework and the Knowledge and Skills Framework

ASYE should be regarded as the first rung on a ladder of career-long continuing professional development (CPD) which will enhance not just the individual social worker, but the social care sector as a whole.

Regular BIG discussions through our people performance management framework

The people performance management framework helps everyone make the link between the council’s priorities, values, service outcomes, team objectives, personal objectives, behaviours and targets, enabling the support needed to achieve our vision. This responsibility is shared between the manager and the member of staff, although the manager initiates certain events during the year. It is a two-way, open, honest and constructive feedback process. It is also the opportunity to discuss individual learning and development needs. Everyone needs regular time with their manager through formal meetings which provide an opportunity to review progress, to identify problems before they become serious, to get support when difficulties are experienced and to recognise and acknowledge good work. These regular meetings create the basis upon which the annual BIG discussion and mid-year review meetings can be undertaken successfully.

Progression to social worker

The Isle of Wight Council as a responsible employer offers its support and encouragement in the development of high-quality Social Work ensuring that its workforce has the ability to meet professional standards, has access to developmental opportunities and current skills to meet the diverse needs of Island residents. If you would like more information on your chance to make a difference, please read the government's Step Up to Social Work.

Return to Social Work

The Local Government Association (LGA) offers an application-based Return to Social Work programme for former Social workers who wish to restart their careers in local government. View further information about Return to Social Work.

Leadership and management development

Whether you join us in a first line management role or in a more senior position, we will encourage you to take up a range of training opportunities, put your learning into practice and share knowledge and experiences with your peers. Find out some of the other benefits the Learning & Development department can offer you as an employee.

Find out various href="" target="_blank">youth opportunities, vacancies and apprenticeships available in the council