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Developing the workforce

Source: Department for Health and Social Care

Updated 8 December 2021

Over 1.5 million people work in social care, caring for and supporting people at the heart of their communities. We want everyone working in social care to be recognised and valued for their dedication and for their vital role enabling the dignity and independence of the people they support.

As the population grows and more people are living longer with more complex needs, it is essential that we continue to build a workforce with the right skills and knowledge to deliver high quality, personalised care now and in the future.

Our long-term vision is that adult social care offers a rewarding career with opportunities to develop and progress, where staff have the right skills and training to deliver the highest quality of care, and where their wellbeing is prioritised.

It is essential that we continue to build a workforce with the right skills and knowledge to deliver high quality, personalised care now and in the future

What's changing

To help us achieve this vision, over the next three years we will invest at least £500m to support the professional development and mental health and wellbeing of the workforce. This will include:

  • knowledge and skills framework and career structure to support progression. This will set out the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed at each level of the social care workforce, and provide hundreds of thousands of training places and qualifications for staff to develop their skills, fulfil their career goals and provide even better care for the people they support.
  • Funding for portable Care Certificates. This will deliver a baseline of high-quality induction training across the sector and ensure that care workers do not need to repeat the Care Certificate training when moving roles.
  • Leadership development and tailored support for registered care managers. This will include funding for accredited Level 5 diplomas for registered managers who do not hold relevant formal qualifications and a bespoke support programme for new registered managers in their first year.
  • A new digital social care workforce hub and skills passports so that staff will be able to easily identify themselves as working in care, be signposted to the new support available for the workforce, and have a portable record of training and development.
  • Continuing professional development budgets for registered nurses, nursing associates, occupational therapists and other allied health professionals to help them meet their continuous professional development objectives.
  • Investment in social worker training routes providing new training and entry routes for people who want to become social workers in adult social care.
  • Wellbeing and occupational health support including initiatives to provide wellbeing and mental health support and to improve access to occupational health.
  • Expanding the roll-out of the social care workforce Race Equality Standard to create local plans for ensuring staff from ethnic minority backgrounds are treated equally and feel included.
  • Policies to identify and support best practice at a local and national level to ensure consistency across social care.

Find out more about the social care reforms


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