Following discussions, Skills for Care and the National Skills Academy for Social Care have agreed, in principle and subject to contract, to merge their organisations. Both parties anticipate that the merger will take place by the end of May 2014.
The merged organisation will combine the expertise of both teams to create an offer for employers in the sector covering the leadership, learning and development needs of the sector’s 1.5 million workers at all levels, from front line staff to senior leaders. Existing Members of the National Skills Academy will retain their membership within the new organisation.
Sharon Allen, current CEO of Skills for Care, will stay on as CEO of the merged organisation. Debbie Sorkin, current Chief Executive of the Skills Academy, is leaving her post to take up a new role as National Director of Systems Leadership, at the Leadership Centre based at the Local Government Association.
Jo Cleary, current Chair of the National Skills Academy, will be stepping down as chair after over two years, having been a founding member of the Skills Academy since 2008.
Skills for Care Chair Professor David Croisdale-Appleby said: “Employers indicated they would support us in bringing together the strengths of both teams and I’m pleased that, after productive negotiations between the Boards and senior management of both organisations, we have been able to reach agreement in principle on the basis upon which the two organisations should come together. Obviously there is still some work to be done by our advisers to finalise matters, but 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.”
Jo Cleary, the Chair of the Skills Academy, welcomed the move, saying: “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.
I am very proud to have led the Skills Academy over the last few years, together with a Board of national leaders in social care who are passionate about making a difference and an equally committed staff team led by Debbie Sorkin. Debbie’s move to the Leadership Centre is a fantastic opportunity for her and her naturally collaborative leadership approach will benefit the development of Systems Leadership across all sectors.
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.”
Glen Mason, Director of Social Care Leadership and Performance at the Department of Health supported the merger, saying: “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. 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.”