Skills for Care and National Skills Academy announce merger

Government welcomes England's adult social care workforce development bodies' decision to fuse

England’s adult social care workforce development agencies, Skills for Care and the National Skills Academy for Social Care, are to merge next month.

Although contracts have yet to be signed, the two organisations announced today that they intend to combine by the end of May this year.

The Department of Health welcomed the move, which it said would help to support the reforms set out in the Care Bill.

“This merger comes at a crucial time of social care reform, when the quality of the workforce and leadership will be central to the success of the reforms,” said Glen Mason, director of social care leadership and performance at the department.

“Together, the National Skills Academy and Skills for Care will be able to combine their strengths and become the go-to organisation for social care employers. We look forward to continuing to work with the merged organisation in the coming months and years to deliver the Care Bill learning and development agenda.”

David Croisdale-Appleby, chair of Skills for Care, said: “Employers indicated that they would support us in bringing together the strengths of both teams and I’m pleased that, after productive negotiations, we have been able to reach agreement in principle on the basis upon which the two organisations should come together.”

“The new organisation once formed will not only allow us to achieve economies of scale but offer employers a one-stop shop for the learning and development needs of their staff.”

Sharon Allen, chief executive of Skills for Care, will head the merged organisation while Skills Academy chief executive Debbie Sorkin is leaving to join the Leadership Centre, which promotes good leadership in local government.

Skills Academy chair Jo Cleary, who is also chair of The College of Social Work, is to step down.

“I have decided to step down as chair, so that a new chair can be sought to bring together the strengths of both organisations and embed leadership into the approach we take to recruiting, developing and retaining people in the social care sector,” said Cleary.

“The Skills Academy has been innovative and relentlessly focused on how you can change culture through leadership at every level, and I am confident that the National Skills Academy’s offer to all employers, especially micro employers will be sustained in the new merged organisation.”

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