By Charlotte Webster-
The Uk government is out to enhance the adult social care sector with a £500m support package to boost development and wellbeing and improve their skills and provide hundreds of thousands of training opportunities will be available for social care staff to develop their careers over the next three years.
This comes as the Workforce Development Fund is confirmed for an additional year (2022/23) offering stability ahead of new and improved training opportunities.
In 2020/21 the Workforce Development Fund, financed by the Department of Health and Social Care and disseminated by Skills for Care, helped more than 14,000 care workers from more than 2,300 establishments to progress their careers despite the pressures of the pandemic.
The government is working in partnership with the social care sector on plans for staff training and support including creating a new knowledge and skills framework to ensure clear paths to progress.
As part of this the government will be speaking to training suppliers and the social care sector about potential contracts to develop the best possible learning and development opportunities from April 2023, using some of the £500 million announced in the Spending Review.
These learning and development opportunities will include n ew financial support to help adult social care employers with the costs of continued professional development (CPD) for registered nurses and other allied health professionals.
A brand new Care Certificate qualification, ending the need for care workers to repeat this training when they move roles. The government will fund more than 100,000 training places for new care workers to complete this new qualification.
It will include developing a digital hub and skills passport for the workforce. This will help provide a voluntary register of staff and verified records of skills and qualifications when moving between providers by better supporting careers and staff wellbeing.
Potential care workers are more likely to apply and current workers are more likely to want to remain in the profession.
Minister for Care and Mental Health Gillian Keegan said:
”Dedicating your life to caring for others is not just a job, it is a calling but it also needs to be a career.
We know how hardworking social care staff are and they deserve our support in developing their skills through training.
Better training ultimately means better care for residents and a better future for staff.
The new framework will set out the knowledge, skills, values, and behaviours people need to work in adult social care.
It will also set out career structures and clear pathways for development within roles, as well as creating more routes for progression.
For level 5 managers there will be additional funding to assist with further qualifications.
All registered managers who do not hold a level 5 or equivalent qualification will be able to access a funded Diploma in Leadership and Management in Adult Care.
The government will also invest in level 2, 3 and 4 qualifications to ensure individuals working across social care have the option of taking up qualifications.
Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care Deborah Sturdy said:
”A key priority when I took on this role was to improve training and career opportunities for our hard working staff.
Providing care is a skill which requires nurturing and if we want to retain the best of the profession we need to care for them too.
The skills framework will offer progression and improved opportunities which all our staff deserve.
For those who wish to remain in their existing roles but develop new skills there will be professional development opportunities.
Additional training will include developing skills to help with diabetes, stroke awareness, mental health and care for people with a learning disability and autistic people.
Leadership training will be available to build a culture of continued professional development across all sizes of care providers.
The Workforce Development Fund will continue this year to provide funded training to adult social care employers in England to support the development of their staff at all levels, offering funding for a wide range of qualifications, learning programmes and digital learning modules”.