Press release

You’re Hired: Applications open for HSE Apprentice in Social Work

Published: 30 May 2024


Applications are now open for the HSE Apprentice in Social Work, an innovative new career pathway for social workers to train on the job and earn a salary whilst doing so. The HSE is one of the first employers to support a new apprenticeship in social work and there are 12 spots available.

The 2-year ‘Apprentice in Social Work’ programme aims to attract graduates by providing them employment in the HSE while they undertake a QQI level 9 Masters or Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work in UCC.  Both are CORU approved courses.

The HSE is offering 12 apprentices:

  • two year full-time contract with a starting salary of €33,422 which increases in Year 2
  • UCC course fees fully sponsored by the HSE for the Master of Social Work and the Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work Studies
  • practical experience under the supervision and mentorship of a professionally qualified social worker
  • an opportunity to build their professional network while completing their academic study
  • eligibility to register as a professionally qualified Social Worker with CORU on successful completion of the programme
  • permanent employment post qualification and continued professional development as a Social Worker
  • clear career pathway with lateral and promotional opportunities available as a Social Worker across our services.

Launching the new pathways, Patrick O’Donovan, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, said: "These exciting new pathways will allow a whole new cohort of learners to access social work training, opening the profession to a more diverse range of people and helping to combat the recruitment challenges facing employers of social workers.”

Bernard Gloster, HSE CEO, said:  “I’m delighted to be at the forefront of this initiative. Traditional education models have served us well but as we grow our numbers of social workers we are happy to support this new to the social work profession.  This model makes the profession more accessible as apprentices will ‘earn as they learn’ on their journey to becoming professionally qualified social workers. We are committed to providing employment for apprentices who successfully complete the programme.

“I look forward to meeting the HSE apprentices and the colleagues who will mentor them over the next 24 months.”


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