Skills for Care

Our work will define good practice and set the standard; look to future needs; raise the profile of the sector; support the development of skills, knowledge, competencies and behaviour, and support the learning market.

Our strategy focuses on four key priorities:

To deliver our strategic objectives we'll: 

  • define good practice and set the standard
  • look to future needs
  • raise the profile of the sector
  • support the development of skills, knowledge, competencies and behaviour
  • support the learning market.


Supporting workforce capabilities

For too long a career in social care has been seen as low-value and low-skilled. This isn’t the case. People working in adult social care have a vital role in society, and deserve to be recognised as highly qualified professionals, who are respected for the work they do. 

We’ll work with all types of social care employers to change perceptions and ensure that the workforce, at every level, has the right skills, competencies and behaviours to meet the needs of the people they support now and in the future. 

To do this we'll: 

  • support the creation of a nationally agreed and consistent career pathway for social care, including learning and development requirements for each role, that employers understand and use to develop staff appropriately.
  • use our knowledge of current and future skills needed to shape and define learning and development for the future.
  • work with employers, leaders and managers to ensure they understand the importance of investing in learning and development, including new technologies, and have access to the tools they need to deliver high quality training. We’ll support employers to upskill staff and remove barriers to the use of technology.
  • work with our endorsed learning providers to ensure that there is high quality learning and development available for the sector to access.


Supporting culture and diversity

The strength of social care is in celebrating, valuing, and recognising what makes people unique and supporting them to overcome challenges. To do this it's vital that the adult social care workforce reflects the society we live in, and that people feel included and treated equally. We're committed to using our data and insight to focus attention on areas and issues where there is more work to do, to ensure that diversity is valued and that organisational cultures are positive.  

To do this we'll: 

  • develop and promote tools and resources to help employers and the workforce implement inclusive and positive organisational cultures. This includes development of competencies and behaviours focussed on the implementation of the Social Care Workforce Race Equality Standard, which will allow us to monitor progress and drive up standards and practice across the sector.
  • promote diverse and compassionate leadership across all services to ensure the workforce feels equal, valued and included, with a culture that encourages wellbeing and progression.
  • support the sector to monitor and report on progress in implementing employee diversity objectives, using standardised data and measures, and identify opportunities to continually improve.


Increasing workforce capacity

We’re all living for longer and that has implications which we need to be aware of and plan for. We know that more people need support, and the people who need support often have more complex needs than they might have done in previous decades. 

The social care workforce must reflect this reality – ensuring there are the right number of staff, who are equipped with the right skills and have access to the latest technology, to meet the needs of the people they support now and in the future.  

This means not only increasing the numbers of people in the workforce in both regulated and non-regulated roles, but making sure the right people, with the right behaviours and values, are attracted to a career in social care. 

To do this we'll: 

  • support all types of employers to recruit the right people, with a focus on the behaviours and values that enable people to provide the highest quality care and support.
  • use our data and insight to understand future demand and supply in the workforce and the gaps. Support commissioners and local bodies to understand their local population and plan for their local workforce and to use our resources to plan to meet these needs.
  • work with Government and other partners to help the public better understand social care, increase the esteem in which it's held, and ensure it's seen as a career of choice.


Improving social care systems

One of our core roles is to look to the future needs of the adult social care sector and drive forward positive change. This means supporting the whole sector to innovate, making the best use of data and evidence, and collaborating with our partners to build a social care workforce that's fit for the future.  

To do this we'll: 

  • use our leading knowledge of social care best practice, tools, high quality data and intelligence to support local and national stakeholders to effectively develop strategy, commission, and plan for the workforce together.
  • understand the workforce and how it must develop and promote these needs to Government and other national and local decision makers.
  • work with our counterparts in health and other stakeholders to ensure that those involved in the integration of health and social care understand social care, and can carry out workforce planning that meets the needs of the social care workforce.