Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

New skills training opportunities for care staff to tackle workforce crisis

The government has created a new knowledge and skills framework and announced further training opportunities for social care staff as part of a £500 million support package.

The Workforce Development fund was announced in September last year and has so far helped more than 14,000 care workers to progress their career.

Now, hundreds of thousands of training opportunities will be available to care workers across the country. This will include developing skills to help care for people with a learning disability and autistic people, as well as improving knowledge about diabetes, stroke and mental health.

Professional development opportunities

The new framework 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

For those who wish to remain in their existing roles but develop new skills there will be professional development opportunities.

Leadership training will be available to build a culture of continued professional development across all sizes of care providers.

A brand new Care Certificate qualification

Other developments include:

  • New 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
  • 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

Minister for Care and Mental Health Gillian Keegan said: “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.”

“Without tackling pay head-on we risk losing dedicated staff”

Matthew Harrison, public affairs and parliamentary manager at Mencap said while he welcomes the extra support for career progression, the government must now work towards providing a fair wage for care staff.

He said: “Social care workers put their lives on the line during the Covid-19 crisis and we know they deserve better.

“While opportunities for training and development are an important part of the puzzle, urgent action is needed to solve the crisis facing the social care workforce.

“Care workers should receive a wage that reflects the skilled work they do. Love and loyalty don’t pay the bills, and without tackling pay head-on we risk losing dedicated staff to other sectors like retail and hospitality.

“Without increasing wages, we know that working age disabled adults across the country, including those with a learning disability, will be left at the sharp end of the social care crisis, unable to access care and support. We must not allow this to happen.” 

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