Social care management scheme looks for sponsor with government funding at risk

Department of Health is reviewing whether to continue funding National Skills Academy for Social Care scheme

Candidates for the trainee scheme pictured at an assessment day

A national graduate management training scheme for social care is searching for a sponsor in case the government ends its funding.

The scheme, run by the National Skills Academy for Social Care, received roughly £700,000 a year funding from the Department of Health but the latest tranche of money ends this month and future funding is currently under review.

The skills academy has made a case to the DH for continuing with the funding and is awaiting a response. In the meantime it has had several expressions of interest from organisations about sponsoring the programme

The scheme is still taking applications for a fifth cohort of students September 2014 in the hope that the scheme will be funded, either by the DH or another sponsor.

“We have put a business case to the Department of Health and are waiting for them to come back to us,” said a skills academy spokesperson. “The funding is under review. We have been looking, just in case, for other ways of funding the programme. The last cohort has finished and that is why the funding has ended. At the moment we are not in a position to fund another cohort. We are hoping it continues and the Department of Health makes a positive decision because it has been a great success.”

The scheme, which began in 2009,  takes 20 to 27 students a year and has taken on four cohorts so far. The £700,000 Department of Health funding for the scheme works out at about £35,000 per year per student.

By comparison, the NHS graduate management training scheme gets about £50,000 per student per year from NHS England and has taken on about 100 trainees this year.

A Department of Health spokesperson said: “The graduate management trainee scheme is valuable in helping to develop the next generation of social care leaders and we are keen to continue to support it. No decisions have yet been made, but it makes financial sense to explore all options for funding, including potential additional support from the whole sector.”

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