Jul 20

2020-21 Workforce Development Fund now open for applications

Posted on Wednesday 29th July 2020

The Workforce Development Fund (WDF) is now open to adult social care employers in England to support the development of their staff at all levels, offering funding for a wide range of qualifications, learning programmes and digital learning modules. The fund, which Skills for Care distribute on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care, helped 2,795 establishments support 14,441 learners in 2018-19.

From research[1], we published in November 2019, we know that employers report many benefits from the fund. From a more skilled team to improved staff morale, ultimately improving the quality of care they provide. One funding lead reported that “Employers in our partnership are always telling me about the positives [resulting from training accessed via the WDF]. So better CQC rating is one, because they have better trained staff who are providing better quality care.”

We also know that employers have reviewed and refined their approaches to workforce development and continuing professional development (CPD) as a result of accessing the fund, developing or refreshing training plans. One training provider reported “The WDF is so impactful for CPD in the sector. It has a big impact on employers’ views, attitudes and approaches to training.”

The 2020-21 fund will continue to focus on key sector priorities which includes enhanced funding for completion of leadership and management qualifications, learning programmes and digital learning modules. We know investing in managers represents an investment in services, their staff and the quality of the care they provide, and we also know that an effective, well supported manager has the biggest influence on the overall quality of care provided.

Employers can also claim enhanced funding for four listed apprenticeship standards - the Adult Care Worker, Lead Adult Care Worker, Lead Practitioner in Adult Care and Leader in Adult Care.

Skills for Care CEO, Oonagh Smyth, said: “The WDF is an important source of funding to employers to support the learning and development needs of their workforce, as they deal with the added pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic, with budgets stretched further than ever before.

The enhanced funding for leadership and management will help the sector prepare to meet future needs, to effectively support the workforce and make sure people can access high quality care and support.”

Find out more

You can view the full list of funded qualifications, learning programmes and digital learning modules here

 For more information about the WDF and how to apply here

[1] Impact Evaluation of the Workforce Development Fund, Individual Employer Fund and Workforce Development Innovation Fund