Care leaders collaborate for future workforce strategy vision

Adult social care leaders have come together for the first time to offer a collective vision of what should be in a workforce strategy for the growing sector.

The leaders of Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), Care Provider Alliance (CPA), Care and Support Alliance (CSA), Local Government Association (LGA), Skills for Care, Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) argue that a strategy for the 1.5 million strong workforce must be driven by a shared vision.

To build and develop a workforce which makes this vision a reality the leaders say there are clear priorities which must be included in a national workforce strategy/people plan for adult social care. This includes: staff recognition, value and reward; investment in training, qualification and support; career pathways and development; building and enhancing social justice, equality, diversity and inclusion in the workforce; effective workforce planning across the whole social care workforce; and expansion of the workforce in roles which are designed in coproduction with people who draw on care and support, and in roles which enable prevention, support the growth of innovative models of support.

The leaders agree these priorities have to be a key part of the proposed reform agenda that will need to consider what part social care should play in our society in the coming years, and what role a workforce that is likely to be around two million strong by 2035 should play to meet current and future demand.

Clenton Farquharson, chair of Think Local Act Personal, said: “Think Local Act Personal welcomes this forward-looking statement which has been influenced by people who draw on social care. Whilst recognising the steps that need to be taken to secure today’s workforce, its ambition for a workforce fully capable of delivering a reformed social care is a welcome and positive step forward. Using TLAP’s Making it Real approach will help ensure that people are supported to have good lives, with the care and support of the future adult social care workforce.”

David Fothergill, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Any long-term solution for adult social care needs to include a comprehensive plan on building a care workforce fit for the future. It is vital that we are able to match the skills and ambitions of our future workforce with the aspirations of people who have cause to draw on care and support. Urgent action is also needed to address the current recruitment and retention crisis in social care, including on pay, conditions, professionalisation, skills and training.”

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