Future Funding of Social Work Training Announced
The new Post Qualifying framework for social workers comes into force on 1 September 2007. It builds on the new social work degree and takes into account all the changes that have taken place in social work practice in recent years. Service users and carers will be central to social work post qualifying education and training, as they are with the social work degree. Under the current system, funding for post qualifying training (PQ) is allocated to the General Social Care Council (GSCC) who distribute it via regional PQ consortia. Under the new system, funding will be allocated to Skills for Care in liaison with Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC), and managed by Regional Planning Networks for PQ (RPNPQ). RPNPQ’s will be fully integrated with Learning Resource Networks and manage training for both adults and children’s social services.
The new framework will have a new organisational structure and the Department asked JM Consulting to review the current funding mechanisms and consider options for future funding arrangements. The Department received the final report in December and a full copy is attached.
Future Funding Arrangements
The report identified that current funding systems will be unable to support the infrastructure changes of the new framework. Therefore, following consideration of the report, the following funding arrangements will be in place for 06/07 and 07/08:
- The GSCC will receive £1.157m to support final year of the Practice Teaching Programmes and the PQ consortia, some of whose functions will end on 31 March 07.
- Skills for Care will receive £478k to fund infrastructure costs for RPNPQ, bids for early starter courses and service user and carer involvement.
- GSCC will receive £290k to support the wind up of the PQ Consortia.
- Skills for Care/CWDC will receive £1.960m to fund infrastructure costs for RPNPQ, service user and carer involvement, support to those with no employer who are unable to access other funding and an initiative fund to reward good employers or fund new initiatives or pilots.
- £500k to support those students who have started their training under the old system. Further detail will be available in due course.
Continued investment in PQ is necessary to drive up standards and quality of services. Decisions about longer term funding of the PQ framework will be considered as part of the next spending review process.
Support for Employers
The report identified that employers are responsible for the training and development of their staff. To help then do this, the local authority National Training Strategy Grant has a £13m sub-programme specifically to support employers in taking forward PQ training and development of their staff.