Stronger incentives needed to coax staff on to register, says council head

Social care workers must be given an incentive to join the
workforce register, the chief executive of the General Social Care
Council has said.

Lynne Berry said front-line social workers had only joined the
register in numbers when the threat of prosecution loomed, due to
the introduction of protection of title in April.

Last month, the government announced that domiciliary and
residential care workers, who could number almost one million,
would be next to join the register.

Berry said: “Some mechanism needs to be in place to ensure that
people do register. It was really quite significant that it was
when protection of title was announced that the majority of social
workers got their applications in.”

She said options for social care workers included amending the
national minimum standards to ensure employers only took on
registered staff.

Berry said the GSCC would shortly consult on the next phase, but
said it was unlikely the register would be opened to all
domiciliary and residential staff at once, given their

With many care staff earning little more than the minimum wage, she
suggested that registration payments would be based on ability to

Berry also said that registration should be used as a lever to
boost qualifications across the sector, a position backed by
workforce strategy body Skills for Care.

However, the body would like to see registration made conditional
on staff completing the induction stage only of social care NVQs,
which takes six to 12 weeks, rather than gaining the full

Richard Banks, Skills for Care’s head of workforce development,
said: “The danger of there being a higher bar is that you would end
up only covering a certain percentage of the people who do care

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