Adult workforce strategy pledges more support for newly-qualified staff

Phil Hope

The government has pledged more support for newly-qualified social workers and a management scheme for graduates as part of its Adult Social Care Workforce Strategy.

The strategy, published today, also introduces a voluntary registration scheme for home care workers from 2010 to improve service user safeguarding . A consultation on the registration requirements  including training, will be held later this year.

Other initiatives include the Care First scheme, announced in yesterday’s Budget, which will create 50,000 social care traineeships for unemployed under-25s.

Subsidy for employers

Social care employers will recieve a £1,500 subsidy to take on trainees for six months.

The strategy also pledges to develop the government-run Social Care Awards to raise the status of working in the sector.

Although the General Social Care Council welcomed the plan to register home care workers, chair Rosie Varley said the regulator was “disappointed” that this did not apply to residential care staff.

“Hundreds of thousands of people receive care in their home and this is set to increase as people live longer,” Varley said. “It is crucial, therefore, that they can be confident that the person who provides their care is skilled, competent and can be trusted.”

Encouraging a “new generation”

Full details are due today when care services minister Phil Hope launches the strategy at the Association of Directors of Adult Services spring seminar in Croydon, south London.

Ahead of its publication, Hope said he wanted to encourage a “new generation” into social care to fill the growing number of vacancies. “Once we recruit people, we must do everything we can to keep and grow new talent. I hope the new apprenticeships will go a long way to doing this,” he added.

John Nawrockyi, secretary of the Adass Workforce Development Network said the association had been working closely with the Department of Health on developing the strategy.

“We believe this has helped our strategy reflect the rapidly changing expectations upon the workforce arising from the personalisation agenda of Putting People First,” he said.

Yesterday chancellor Alistair Darling announced in his Budget report that the long-awaited adult green paper to reform the care and support system would be published in June.

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