Skills for Care

Why learning and development matters and how you can #KeepLearning in 2024

11 Jan 2024

3 min read

  • Learning and development
  • Skills for Care

As we launch our #KeepLearning campaign our CEO Oonagh Smyth discusses why it’s important to #KeepLearning and how Skills for Care can support you in 2024.

I’m delighted that we’re once again kickstarting the year with our #KeepLearning campaign.

We know what a positive impact this had for many of you last year and that’s why we were so keen to again start the year with a focus on learning and development and the support available.

Learning and development is key for an organisation’s success. Investing in learning and development supports better staff retention and helps to develop effective mangers for now and the future, which supports better quality care and support.

This year’s campaign will raise awareness of the learning and development and continuing professional development opportunities available to support best quality care.

We’ll also be looking at the benefits of investing in learning and development, with a particular focus on how learning and development supports retention. We know from our data that people who are provided with regular training are more likely to stay in their roles for longer.

It’s really important that people at all levels are provided with the opportunity to enjoy ongoing learning and development, and so we’ll also be discussing the learning opportunities available for aspiring, new and experienced managers.

As the campaign and the new year begins, there is still some time available to apply for the Workforce Development Fund (WDF). The WDF is funding to support a wide range of learning and qualifications. This funding is provided by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and distributed by Skills for Care. Applications for the current WDF must be submitted by 29 February 2024. You can find out more about the funding and how to apply on our dedicated webpage.

I was also pleased to see this year begin with an announcement of a reform package from DHSC, which includes key initiatives to support learning and development for people working in social care.

This includes the first version of The Care Workforce Pathway and the introduction of the Care Certificate Qualification, which are both projects which Skills for Care has consulted and supported on with the sector.

The Pathway will help to articulate what a career in social care means and what is expected of those supporting people who draw on care and support.

Previously, there was no consistent career structure or clear articulation of the level of knowledge, experience and skill required to deliver high-quality, personalised care and support.

We recommend everyone new to social care completes the Care Certificate as part of a robust induction process. The new developments to the certificate mean this will now be a recognised qualification, something the sector has wanted to see for a long time.

Skills for Care has been working on developing the content of the qualification, in collaboration with the sector through a series of focus groups and stakeholder meetings.

Fittingly, our #KeepLearning campaign will run over Race Equality Week which will provide us with a timely opportunity to highlight the learning and development options available to support with promoting an inclusive workplace. We’ll be hearing from local authorities about how they’ve used learnings from the SC-WRES to introduce organisation-wide learning about equality, diversity, and inclusion.

The #KeepLearning campaign will provide information, articles and resources tailored to everyone working in social care from care workers to registered managers, nurses, social workers, individual employers, personal assistants and more. You can find all of this on our dedicated landing page.

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