Plans for dedicated skills council dropped

Proposals to create a dedicated sector skills council for the
children’s workforce outlined in the green paper are likely to be
dropped, according to Topss England chairperson Arthur Keefe.

About 50,000 employers and more than two million workers, many of
whom are already covered by smaller sector skills councils, would
have been affected by the proposal.

But it is believed the plans, which would have covered all
children’s workers from teachers to social workers, have been
abandoned because of the enormous task involved in setting up such
a body.

Instead, a body that covers social care professionals working with
children and adults will almost certainly be given the go-ahead in

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 – was last
year approved to operate its own sector skills council Skills for
Care (news, page 7, 13 November). Talks between the partnership,
the government, and the Sector Skills Development Agency, which
issues the licences, have been geared towards the model of one
skills council covering the whole social care sector.

But Keefe told delegates that the children’s part of the new Skills
for Care would have a distinct identity within the new body.
Although it would not include some groups such as teachers or youth
justice workers, it would cover other professionals such as
education welfare officers.

He added that those sector skills councils dealing with
professionals such as teachers would be required to have a
“strongly collaborative” relationship with the new sector skills

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