Training fillip for Scotland’s workers

Scotland’s social care workforce is to receive a 17m training boost.

The Scottish executive’s social services workforce strategy for 2005-10 sets out plans to develop professionals – from directors to front-line care staff – with a more flexible set of skills to enable them to work in a broader range of settings.

The strategy, which applies to staff in the statutory, private and voluntary sectors, also sets a series of targets during 2006 and 2007 for the executive, employers and social care training bodies.

These include developing the use of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework in colleges, offering more and better training opportunities for staff and streamlining sources of funding.

The executive believes a revamp of training is needed to address changes in the needs of service users and population demographics, and the shortage of workers and skills.

The strategy states that the future workforce will need to “adapt traditional roles and professional boundaries or practices to address the changes in the sector”. This could necessitate “forging multi-disciplinary, multi-skilled and multi-professional working stretching across the health, education, justice and housing sectors”.

Carole Wilkinson, chief executive of the Scottish Social Services Council, said: “We want it to be read and used not just by employers but by managers, front-line workers, service users and unpaid carers.

“I believe this is a strategy that enforces the importance of investing in the social service workforce and increasing the level of skills across the sector.”

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