SSSC conference looks to the social service workforce of the future

What needs to be done for Scotland to have a social service workforce fit for 2020? This is just one of the key questions that 200 delegates will explore at the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) Conference  20:20 Vision tomorrow (Friday 19 February 2010).

Over the next five years over 50,000 social service workers will register for the first time and increasing demand means the way services are delivered is changing. This will lead to a trained and qualified workforce with the potential to transform social services. The size of this task and making links between workforce development and registration presents challenges for employers.

Through speakers, panel discussion and workshops the conference will look at: leadership for the social service workforce for the future, changes and challenges ahead for the workforce and what the sector can learn from sharing evidence of good practice.

To help the workforce to plan for the future, the Professor and Renowned Management Thinker John Seddon will be challenging the notion of economies of scale and how managers will be better off if they knew how to manage flow rather than scale. John will also be discussing the Crerar review and how it has affected the social service workforce.

John Seddon said: The Crerar review charted a route towards local innovation and responsibility in the Scottish public sector. Sadly the regulation of care services has not reflected Crerars advice. The consequences will be a further period of high-cost and poor quality services, demoralised workers and, worst of all, people being deprived of care. I am confident that the care system will not improve until the regulators change their approach to regulation.

Delegates at the SSSC Conference will also hear from the Minister for Children and Early Years Adam Ingram MSP, the Chair of the social work task force in England Moira Gibb and take part in a lively debate chaired by BBC Scotlands Newsnight presenter Glenn Campbell.

Adam Ingram, Minister for Children and Early Years, said: The most vulnerable in our society rely on social service workers to support them and improve their life chances. We need to ensure that the services they receive are of a high quality, continually improving and responsive to their needs. This conference provides a welcome opportunity to explore how we can work in partnership to equip our workforce to meet these challenges now and in the future.

Garry Coutts, Convener of the SSSC said: Social service workers are at the forefront of delivering increasingly complex, flexible and personalised services. With these increasing demands, the way in which services are delivered will be changing. I am looking forward to hearing the views of employers, workers, policy makers and people who use services about developments in this area. Together we can transform the workforce and prepare for the challenges that these changes bring.

Further information including presentations from key note speakers will be available after the event on the SSSCs website