Structure of the support worker traineeships
It was originally envisaged that trainees would have three distinct placements of equal length within the overall nine month traineeship. However, research into other traineeships and feedback from team managers highlighted the need for a consistent learning environment for trainees.
The idea of three ‘mini-placements’ was reduced to two and the length of the main placement extended to 6 months. At the start of the 7th month, trainees did a 6-week mini-placement and then returned to their original team.
A few trainees chose to remain in their mini-placement and did not return to their original placements for the 9th month. These trainees benefited from the consistency that came with a longer mini-placement and the opportunity to start afresh in a new team.
Extending the traineeships to one year meant that the second placement could be extended to 6 months to offer a fuller learning experience.
Where possible, one of the two placements is in a hostel setting while the other is in a different type of service (e.g. supported housing or tenancy sustainment). This is to ensure trainees have a varied experience and learn about how Thames Reach supports clients with a variety of needs and at different stages of the resettlement process.