The social care sector has received a boost with the approval of
its own sector skills council.
The council, to be called Skills for Care, will take the lead on
the sector’s overall workforce development and aims to be fully
operational by April 2004.
The council will be operated by 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.
Talks are taking place between the Department of Education and
Skills (DfES) and Topss to resolve the issue of how Skills for Care
will relate to the dedicated children’s workforce sector skills
council proposed in the Every Child Matters green
The Association of Directors of Social Services has criticised the
plans for a separate skills council for children’s workers, saying
that the children and adults social work training should not be
There are also concerns that a children’s sector skills council
could be rushed through and could also be in breach of government
licensing laws. Under the rules set by the DfES, which is
responsible for issuing licences for sector skills councils, sector
skills councils must be UK-wide but Every Child Matters only
relates to England.
A spokesperson for Topss England said he suspected the Topss UK
Partnership would carry on being the sector skills council for
children’s services until a decision or way round the issue had
been finalised by children’s and young people’s minister Margaret