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Government Announces a £500m Social Care Workforce Fund

The Government has announced a support package worth hundreds of thousands of pounds in an effort to tackle the social care staffing crisis.

The £500m Workforce Development Fund, which funds training opportunities for social care staff, has been approved for an additional year.

The announcement comes amid growing concern over the shortage of staff in the social care sector.

These learning and development opportunities will include:
• New financial support to help adult social care employers with the costs of continued professional development (CPD) for registered nurses and other allied health professionals.
• A brand new Care Certificate qualification, ending the need for care workers to repeat this training when they move roles. The Government will fund more than 100,000 training places for new care workers to complete this new qualification
• Developing a digital hub and skills passport for the workforce. This will help provide a voluntary register of staff and verified records of skills and qualifications when moving between providers.
• By better supporting careers and staff wellbeing potential care workers are more likely to apply and current workers are more likely to want to remain in the profession.

The Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee said earlier this month that billions of pounds are ‘urgently’ needed to meet both short-term and long-term needs, including dealing with the staffing crisis.

In 2020/21 the Workforce Development Fund, financed by the Department of Health and Social Care and circulated by Skills for Care, helped more than 14,000 care workers from more than 2,300 establishments to progress their careers, according to the Government.

Minister for care and mental health Gillian Keegan said: ‘Dedicating your life to caring for others is not just a job, it is a calling but it also needs to be a career.

‘We know how hardworking social care staff are and they deserve our support in developing their skills through training. Better training ultimately means better care for residents and a better future for staff.’