Posted: 24 September 2018
Since its launch in 2011, the Workforce Development Fund (WDF) has helped to support over 140,000 learners complete adult social care qualifications and learning programmes. It provides social care employers in England with a means to offer learning and development opportunities to their workforce, which otherwise may not be possible due to the cost.
The fund is a limited pot of money which we disburse on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care. It can be used as a contribution towards the costs of employees completing qualifications and learning programmes.
We spoke to Registered Manager Cathy Watkins, from Kemble at Home, about how they’ve benefitted from the WDF.
We provide domiciliary and live-in care within Herefordshire and surrounding counties. We’ve been using the WDF for a number of years to fund a proportion of the cost of formal health and social care courses such as the Level 2 Certificate in Dementia, Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care and the Level 2, 3 and 5 apprenticeships in Health and Social Care.
The WDF has enabled us to support our employees to complete adult social care qualifications and learning programmes which helps us provide high levels of care support to those accessing our care and support services. Being able to offer good learning and development opportunities has also helped us to attract individuals into the organisation.
I’d recommend the WDF to other organisations without hesitation, it’s essential support for a sector that struggles financially in terms of offering a career pathway.
We’ll definitely apply for the WDF again, without it, most formal health and social care courses would be outside our budget.
In a recent independent evaluation of the WDF, employers reported almost unanimously that they were providing better quality care and had more highly skilled staff as a result of the fund.
The WDF provides funding support towards a range of qualifications and learning programmes. Click here to view the full list.
WDF and your NMDS-SC account
In order to apply for money from the WDF you need to have an up-to-date NMDS-SC account. There are certain requirements that need to be met to be eligible to apply for the WDF. You can find out more about these requirements here.
Other than being able to apply for money from the WDF, your NMDS-SC account offers many other benefits for your organisation.
It can be used to help your organisation:
- generate management information on your workforce to help with service planning
- record, manage and track training and qualifications of your workforce
- compare yourself to other organisations, for example comparing pay rates.
More widely, completing the NMDS-SC helps us tell policy makers and commissioners how many people work in care so they can plan for better service provision and funding across the sector.
Click here to find out more about the WDF and how to apply.
The WDF provides funding support for listed qualifications and learning programmes but there are other sources of funding available. You can find out more about other funding opportunities in our learning and development guide.