I am today publishing the Adult Social Care Work Force Strategy. The adult social care work force is made up of about 1.5 million hard-working, committed, and talented people working in many different roles making a real difference to people’s lives—about 1.75 million older people and adults of working age currently use social care services.
England, like many other countries, faces substantial demographic change during the twenty-first century with an ageing population and already more people over 65 than under 16 for the first time in our history.
Our aim is to make sure that the sector has a high quality work force in place to deliver personalised services for years to come. The strategy will boost the status of social care so that the sector can attract and retain the best and brightest candidates. A series of initiatives will be announced in the strategy.
Budget 2009 announces Care First, a new scheme offering 50,000 traineeships in social care for young people. Up to £75 million will be made available to social care providers through subsidies for offering sustained employment and training to young people (aged 18-24) who have been out of work for 12 months, giving them the skills and experience they need for a career in the sector.
The strategy also outlines plans to increase the numbers of apprenticeships in the sector, and the development of a national management trainee programme, which will begin later this year.
We have also been working with the General Social Care Council to look at proportionate approaches to the future regulation of the wider social care work force. The strategy sets out the expectation that the General Social Care Council will introduce a register of home care workers from early 2010, initially on a voluntary basis.
The strategy has been placed in the Library of the House and copies are available to hon. Members from the Vote Office.