Care sector training to be reorganised

A radical overhaul of the training sector
announced by the government could see the Training Organisation for
Personal Social Services (Topss) broadening its scope to include
the training needs of workers such as gardeners and caterers in
residential and care homes.

Under plans unveiled by the Department for
Education and Skills, the UK’s 73 national training organisations
will be replaced by six sector skills councils by March 2002.

Topss has submitted a bid to the DfES to
become one of the six. If successful, it will receive £100,000
to become a sector skills council before the March 2002

Andrea Rowe, chief executive of Topss, said:
“Sector skills councils want to do away with cross-sector national
training organisations.”

Education and skills secretary Estelle Morris
said the councils will be responsible for reducing gaps and
shortages, increasing employment across the sector’s workforce and
improving training frameworks and standards. “I want to see the
councils working in partnership with organisations such as trade
unions, regional development agencies and the Connexions Service to
improve the standards of vocational training and workforce

But Rowe has admitted the time needed to work
on becoming a sector skills council would “slow up Topss’s training

Unison national officer Owen Davies warned
that lack of time could affect the organisation’s progress with
training. “We consider training for social care workers a key part
of the government’s agenda, and we don’t want to see any changes
introduced that could undermine the good work Topss has already
done, which could happen if there is any hint that the government
is rushing this through.”

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