A £8m grant to train social care workers in Wales has been announced by the Deputy Minister for Social Services, Gwenda Thomas.
The £8.16m grant from the Welsh Government is part of a package worth £11.66m for 2014-15. The Welsh Government provides 70 per cent of the total value of the social care workforce development programme with local authorities responsible for the remainder.
The Deputy Minister made the announcement to mark Social Care week – which is an opportunity to focus on the 70,000 social workers who provide vital social care services every day in Wales.
The training programme aims to increase the take-up of training across the whole social care sector – including local authority services and commissioned social care services - and improve the quality and management of services. The funding is in addition to employers’ own training resources.
There will be significant training requirements to implement the new legislative framework set out in the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014. This training will be designed with input from key stakeholders and will be in place prior to the commencement of the new “core” arrangements in the Act. This grant will dedicated to supporting this training programme in 2015/16.
It will ensure that staff across social services will continue to have the necessary skills and qualifications to deliver their functions within the new framework. This funding supports local authorities and their partners, working together to invest in their workforce.
The Deputy Minister said:“Our social care workforce is our greatest asset. They provide invaluable care to some of the most vulnerable in society. I am determined to do everything I can to support them in their task.
“Their work often goes unnoticed. But I know the work required to support individuals and families with a variety of needs in Wales relies on a professional, safe and skilled workforce worthy of recognition.
“That’s why I’m determined to ensure that workers on the front line of the care system in Wales have the skills they need to carry out their roles to the best of their ability in line with our ambition to increase the status and profile of the social care workforce in Wales.
“The funding I am announcing today is a result of my commitment to raising standards of practice. We want to boost the esteem in which social work and social care is held in the public eye, recognising the good work that goes on and enabling us to recruit and train the best people.”