The Welsh Government has set out how a multi-million pound grant will be used to support the essential training of the social care workforce in Wales ahead of major legislative changes being introduced over the next three years.
In April 2016, the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 will bring about the biggest transformation of the social care sector in Wales for a generation.
A new Regulation and Inspection Bill, to be introduced in the National Assembly next year, will establish a National Institute for Care and Support to drive forward workforce improvement and development across the sector.
The new arrangements will support essential training in the social care sector. It will ensure social care staff get the training they need, including training in relation to the Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act.
The Social Care Workforce Development Programme (SCWDP) is worth £8.2m. Local authorities contribute 30% match funding.
The five priorities for the SCWDP grant in 2015-16 and 2016-17 will be:
- To ensure staff engaged in duties delivered under the Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act 2014 have the knowledge, skills and competencies to operate under the new legal framework;
- To ensure all core training and development, including induction and qualification training, is reframed to reflect the new legal framework;
- To continue the current support for social work training in Wales;
- To support the infrastructure for training across Wales, including local and regional partnership and joint working;
- Basic skills for frontline social care workforce.
Health and Social Services Minister, Mark Drakeford said: “Over the next few years, the social care sector in Wales will be shaped by significant change.
“We intend the Social Care Workforce Development Grant will be allocated to support that transition and ensuring our dedicated social care workforce have the skills they need to work in the sector in the years ahead.
“This will ensure the sector is fully prepared for the Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act to come into force in 2016 and for the forthcoming Regulation and Inspection Bill.
“This can best be achieved through a mixture of training and development designed and planned nationally and the continuation, to March 2017, of a grant issued to local authorities coordinated regionally with health boards, the third sector and independent providers."