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Care leaders react to new Care Workforce Pathway

Care sector leaders have reacted with cautious optimism to the government’s announcement of a new package of support for the domestic care workforce.

The plans include:

  • The launch of the Care Workforce Pathway – a national career structure for the adult social care workforce.
  • £50m of funding for up to 37,000 individuals in direct adult social care roles to enrol on the new Level 2 Adult Social Care Certificate qualification.
  • £20m for apprenticeships – local authorities and adult social care providers will be able to finance hundreds of new social work and nurse apprentices.
  • Subsidised training places – an uplift to the Workforce Development Fund to expand access to learning and development.
  • A new digital leadership qualification to equip social care leaders and managers with the confidence and capability to lead the implementation of technology in care delivery.

Professor Martin Green OBE, chief executive of Care England, said: “This package of measures, including the Care Workforce Pathway, is an opportunity to be an asset to the sector and has the potential to make it a more attractive sector to work in. The value of enhancing our domestic workforce can’t be understated, particularly as we lost over 50,000 domestic workers last year which were replaced by 70,000 international recruits. This value has only become greater in light of the changes made by the Home Office to the international recruitment route late last year.”

“We know career structures and pathways play a key role in attracting and keeping people in adult social care roles. But these are not the only factors. This package of support must be the precedent the government sets for the year. The promise from this government to fix social care feels like a distant memory but this is a welcome reminder that this promise has not been forgotten. The impetus is now on the government to turn the tide and make good on their promise.”

Professor Vic Rayner, CEO of the National Care Forum (NCF) commented: “Today’s announcements are important first steps in adult social care workforce reform and will be welcomed by providers who have paused progression routes and activities in anticipation of the arrival of the pathway. The news that additional funding will become available for training and development in the sector is also welcome, although without details of what this will mean in practice it is difficult to determine impact. The commitment to train nearly 40,000 staff is a step up from the current position but represents under 10 per cent of all new starters in the sector, and of course none of these commitments come with any focus on moving us closer to a set of pay, terms and conditions that match the skills and expertise laid out in the new pathway. The role of a care worker is complex and skilled – and a pathway without an accompanying properly funded pay structure will do little to attract and retain people to progress through the career structure.

“There are over 17,000 organisations delivering care and support across England – and it is  vital that we have a workforce infrastructure that allows all organisations of all sizes to benefit from the changes outlined today. Social care delivers publicly funded services  needed by millions of people each and every year. The government must make the strategic decision to ensure that it adequately funds the pay, terms and conditions of the workforce to ensure we have the care and support we need both now and in the future.”

Finally, Sam Monaghan, CEO of MHA, the UK's largest charity care provider, said: “The launch of the government’s Care Workforce Pathway is an important step forward in improving the value and perceptions of social care as a career. We welcome its commitment to training and development and the impact this can have on those who already work in social care, as well as the sector’s ability to attract and retain new talent.

“At MHA, we have been very clear on the need for a long-term strategy that will futureproof the workforce. With an ageing population and increasing strain being placed on the sector, we need social care to be seen as a strong career choice for more young people.

“That’s why we’re encouraging the government to go even further, by creating a Social Care Council that will professionalise the sector and act as an independent body examining issues such as pay scales, working hours, recruitment and training on an ongoing basis. Crucially, it would also advocate for the people who care for and protect some of the most vulnerable in our society.”

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Upcoming Events

LaingBuisson Social Care Summit

etc.venues, St. Paul's, London
Tuesday 11th June 2024

Care & Occupational Therapy Show 2024

Westpoint Arena, Exeter
Wednesday 17th July 2024

Care Show Birmingham

National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham
9th October - 10th October 2024

Care Roadshow South

Epsom Downs Racecourse, Epsom
15th October 2024

Dementia Summit

The King’s Fund, No.11 Cavendish Square, London, W1G 0AN
Thursday 31st October 2024

Care Roadshow Wales

Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff
12th November 2024

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