Government outlines plans for social care traineeship scheme

The Government today outlined plans to “boost the status” of social care in order to cope with an increasingly ageing population.

Health Minister Phil Hope announced a series of measures to ensure the social care sector could attract and retain the “best and brightest candidates”.

Some 50,000 traineeships in social care will be offered to young people through new scheme Care First.

In a written statement to MPs, Mr Hope said up to £75 million would be made available to social care providers for offering sustained employment and training to people aged 18-24 who have been out of work for 12 months.

The Adult Social Care Workforce Strategy, published today, also included plans to increase the number of apprenticeships in the sector and develop a national management trainee programme.

Mr Hope said the Government had been working with the General Social Care Council (GSCC) to discuss the future regulation of the wider social care workforce.

He said it was expected that the GSCC would introduce a register of Home Care Workers from early 2010, initially on a voluntary basis.

There are currently around 1.5 million adult social care workers in England, caring for some 1.75 million people.

Mr Hope said: “England, like many other countries, faces substantial demographic change during the twenty-first century with an ageing population and already more people over 65 than under 16 for the first time in our history.

“Our aim is to make sure that the sector has a high quality workforce in place to deliver personalised services for years to come.

“The strategy will boost the status of social care so that the sector can attract and retain the best and brightest candidates.”