The Welsh Government today said that it will provide an £8 million training fund for the country’s 70,000 social care workers during 2014/15.
Gwenda Thomas, the deputy minister for social services, announced the plans. The money will form 70 per cent of the national annual workforce development budget. This amounts to £11.66 million once resources from local authorities – who will bid for the funds as lead members of regional Social Care Workforce Development Programme (SCWDP) partnerships – have been factored in.
Thomas said: “I’m determined to ensure workers on the front line of the care system in Wales have the skills they need to carry out their roles to the best of their ability in line with our ambition to increase the status and profile of the social care workforce in Wales.
“The funding I am announcing today is a result of my commitment to raising standards of practice. We want to boost the esteem in which social work and social care is held in the public eye, recognising the good work that goes on and enabling us to recruit and train the best people,” she added.
The government said its aim is increase the take-up of training across the whole social care sector – both council-run and commissioned-out services – and to improve the quality and management of services.
A circular sent to directors of social services said that SCWDP partnerships must plan for the future “to ensure that there is a sufficient supply of social workers in Wales” and for the continuous professional development of social workers.
The government said that for 2015/16 and beyond, it would be working with local authorities and other partners on how its grant could be re-directed to fund a national training programme to address “significant training requirements” created by the new legislative framework set out in the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.