Employers must engage front-line staff in shaping the training of the future

In recent years in Scotland we’ve had the publication of the Changing Lives report and the National Workforce Strategy and the establishment of the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) as the regulatory body for the workforce and their education and training, writes Carole Wilkinson.

There is now recognition of the importance and difference workers make to the lives of vulnerable people, through the often complex, demanding and skilled work that they do. This recognition underlines the necessity for social service workers to be properly trained, qualified and supported to undertake this work.

The policy decision to have a qualifications-based register and to register the wider social care workforce in Scotland has required the SSSC to consider the post-registration training needs of all social service workers. After all, the 138,000 people who work in the care sector in Scotland come from a wide variety of occupations including early education and child care workers, qualified social workers, residential care home workers and housing support staff to name but a few. This requirement has influenced us in reviewing the current PQ framework.

Also, there is currently no recognised and coherent career framework for the social services workforce. The Changing Lives report recognises this in making recommendations about developing careers pathways and developing new and diverse opportunities.

These developments will contribute to building the capacity of the workforce. It will help ensure post-qualifying learning reflects the needs of the wider workforce and its changing nature. We have to equip workers to operate in an increasingly complex environment where users of services and carers demand flexible and personalised services. It is important to engage front-line workers in shaping the training of the future. If the agenda is to be demand-led rather than supply-led, employees will need to be in the driving seat.

Carole Wilkinson is the chief executive of the Scottish Social Services Council

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.