Skills for Care

We work to ensure the workforce is treated equally, feels included and valued, and is supported to stay well and pursue their careers in social care. 

We do this by using evidence to identify the issues - and developing frameworks, training, resources and communities to improve equality, diversity and inclusion and strengthen leadership. 


Why is this important? 

People who work in workplaces that actively promote diversity and inclusion report a sense of belonging, and this results in people feeling valued and appreciated, happier and more resilient in their roles. 

Ultimately, this reduces staff turnover, saving employers time and resources associated with recruitment and training and supports the continuity of care and support. 

Promoting diverse leadership and inclusive and equitable workplace cultures is at the heart of our strategy.  

We hope that, through our support, employers will build inclusive and positive workplace environments, develop more diverse and compassionate leaders, who use our tools and resources to support people working in social care.  


Growing and learning 

We want current and future leaders and managers to have a better understanding of equality, to action positive change in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), and build a positive workplace culture.  

Our development programme ‘Moving Up’ supports people from diverse backgrounds with progression, networking and support. It has had a positive impact on participants, including: 

  • belief in their ability to influence equality, diversity and inclusion increased by 26% 

  • belief in their ability to progress their career increased by 8%, clarity about career ambitions by 11% and understanding of career motivations and drivers by 14% 

  • at the end of the programme, participants rated themselves 26% higher than at the beginning in relation to adequately supporting their own wellbeing. 


This year we also: 

  • developed a summary guide on racism, first shared in February 2023, downloaded 83 times, with wider promotion planned. 

  • worked with the University of Strathclyde and the LGBT Foundation to develop a learning framework for knowledge, skills, and values for working affirmatively with LGBTQ+ people in later life. A launch event took place on 22 February 2023, and we were joined by 449 people. Since launch, the framework has been downloaded 583 times. 

    We’re delighted to see the LGBTQ+ Framework as a tool that will drive continuous improvement in the vital area of equality, diversity and, importantly, inclusion. We welcome the Framework that will enable us as a care and support provider to further consider the needs and preferences of people using our services. On a practical level the Framework provides a structure for the continuous improvement of our learning resources and cultural awareness, as well as providing competence checks for use within our workforce development.

    Head of learning and development at a care provider
  • launched our leadership brochure offering our support available and outlining hot topics for leaders, and the importance of developing leadership skills for aspiring, existing and senior leaders. It was downloaded from our website 685 times. 

  • worked nationally with partners through the National Wellbeing Strategic Steering Group - and this year we revised our ‘Creating a positive workplace culture toolkit’, which has been viewed 11,215 times. We want the whole workforce to be aware of mental health and wellbeing and be able to support it in themselves and others. 

  • know from our analysis of protected characteristic data that Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSWs) from a minority ethnic background were more likely to fail their Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) than white NQSWs. We looked at data from the last four years, finding that 1.8% of NQSWs from a minoritised ethnic background failed, compared with 0.8% of white NQSWs.  

  • engaged with NQSWs - and their feedback on their experiences of the ASYE led to the development of the Group for Ethnic Minority Social Workers (GEMs). We held four successful meetings in 2022-23 attended by 53 NQSWs from minoritised ethnic backgrounds.  


Looking ahead 

We established a Race Equity Reference Group made up of thought leaders in EDI and social care. 

The group advises on our current work, helps shape Skills for Care's future direction and provides opportunities to champion our EDI commitments. They meet four times a year and offer advice and support, and form working and task-based groups in-between. 

We have ambitious plans for 2023-24, with the design of new leadership programmes, and the expansion of our Moving Up and nurse leadership programmes following increasing demand for these across the sector. 

We'll support the quality improvement processes around the Social Care Workforce Race Equality Standard and next collection of data with local authorities. Linking with the implementation of the health and social care review: leadership for a collaborative and inclusive future (Messenger Leadership Review) recommendations on EDI.