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£75 million to get 50,000 unemployed into social care work

Fifty thousand long-term unemployed young people will be helped into social care traineeships thanks to new plans published by the Government today.

Department of Health 23rd April 2009

Fifty thousand long-term unemployed young people will be helped into social care traineeships thanks to new plans published by the Government today.

Backed by £75 million from the Department for Work and Pensions, employers will receive a £1,500 subsidy to take on social care trainees aged between 18 and 24.

In a new Adult Social Care Workforce Strategy, Care Services Minister Phil Hope, will also aim to lure experienced graduates, managers and leaders from the private sector into the social care sector.

The strategy will boost the status of social care so that the sector can attract and retain the best and brightest candidates. Working in social care, helping others get more out of life can be very rewarding. The aim is to make sure that the sector has a high quality workforce in place to deliver personalised services for years to come.

Initiatives in the strategy include:

* CareFirst, a scheme which will get 50,000 long term unemployed working in social care, giving them the skills and experience they need for a permanent career in this sector;

* increasing the number of apprenticeships in social care by around 1,300 targeting groups which have not traditionally taken up careers in social care;

* establishing a new National Management Trainee Scheme to encourage graduates and top quality executives to move into the social care sector;

* a new voluntary registration scheme for home care workers from 2010 to help safeguard people who use services and improve quality;

* developing more Social Care Awards to raise the status of working in the sector and recognise the hard work the 1.5 million people working in social care are already doing; and

* more support for newly qualified social workers in their first year, backed by £4 million.

Speaking at the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) Spring Seminar, Phil Hope said:

"We want to encourage a new generation into social care - helping more of them make a difference in their communities, by taking on rewarding roles. This will bring new talent and skills to social care and fill the vacancies that have grown as the sector has expanded.

"This new Strategy will help to raise the status of social care careers, enable workers to provide more person centred care, lift standards and encourage more people to consider work in this sector.

"Once we recruit people, we must do everything we can to keep and grow new talent. I hope the new apprenticeships will go a long way to doing this.

"This strategy only sets the framework. We will work with employers, local authorities, professional social care bodies and skills agencies to make it a reality and create a workforce that has pride in itself, is respected by the public and supported to deliver high quality, personalised services well into the future."

Employment Minister Tony McNulty said:

"Young people and others who have been struggling for over a year to find work will benefit from up to £75 million which will secure 50,000 jobs in the social care sector, as part of yesterday's announcement. We will focus on quality opportunities which will benefit Britain."

John Nawrockyi, Secretary of the ADASS Workforce Development Network said:

"The Department of Health has been working closely with Directors of Adult Social Services throughout the development of this strategy, and ADASS representatives have made a significant contribution to the Strategy and Executive Boards.

"Given their dual roles both as large employers of the social care workforce and major commissioners of independent social care provision, we believe this has helped our strategy reflect the rapidly changing expectations upon the workforce arising from the personalisation agenda of Putting People First."

April 2010