Plans for sector skills council dropped

Proposals to create a dedicated sector skills council for the
children’s workforce outlined in the green paper are likely
to be dropped, according to Topss England chairperson Arthur Keefe,
writes Sally Gillen.

Around 50,000 employers and more than two million workers, many
of whom are already covered by smaller sector skills councils,
would have been affected by the proposal.

But it is believed the plans, which would have covered all
children’s workers from teachers to social workers, have been
abandoned because of the enormous task involved in setting up such
a body.

Instead, a body that covers social care professionals working
with children and adults will almost certainly be given the
go-ahead in April.

The Topss UK Partnership – consisting of training body
Topss England, the Care Council for Wales, the Northern Ireland
Social Care Council and the Scottish Social Services Council
– was approved to operate its own sector skills council,
Skills for Care, last year (news, page 7, November 13). Talks
between the partnership, the government, and the Sector Skills
Development Agency, which issues the licences, have been geared
towards the model of one skills council covering the whole social
care sector.

But Keefe told delegates that the children’s part of the
new Skills for Care would have a distinct identity within the new
body. Although it would not include some groups such as teachers or
youth justice workers, it would cover other professionals such as
education welfare officers.

He added that those sector skills councils dealing with
professionals such as teachers would be required to have a
“strongly collaborative” relationship with the new
sector skills council.


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