Innovative scheme tackles future workforce issues

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) and IRISS are working together to develop new solutions to the challenges facing the sector’s workforce.

Following a kick-off event in June which brought together 60 people from social services organisations to identify some of the issues that face the future workforce, and the subsequent submission of over 107 ideas on an online platform, a two-day event was held at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh on 17 and 18 September.

The aim of this event was to whittle 20 of the best ideas submitted and discussed online down to five.

Facilitated by 100% Open, it was a busy and intense couple of days, with everyone working in teams to champion ideas.

On the afternoon of day two, teams pitched seven ideas to a panel of judges – Elizabeth Carmichael, SSSC council member; Lesley Musa, Scottish Government; and Sandy Cameron, Chair of IRISS – who had the tough task of selecting the best five.

The five winning ideas included:

  • 1. Dementia diary – a way for people diagnosed with dementia to record and document their life and plan ahead
  • 2. Blether-in – using Skype to create a network of nursery workers and improve children’s learning
  • 3. Wireless – pop-up offices for various community environments
  • 4. Yours and hours – time banking using an asset-based approach
  • 5. Positive wiring, positive people –  an interactive resource developed by, and for young people, to educate them on the effects of abuse, neglect and stress on babies and children.

Full coverage of the two-day event, including blog, sound bites and photos is available at:

On 13 December, the five ideas will be pitched to decision makers in organisations, who will will be asked to adopt an idea and try it out.

For further information on this project, please contact Lorraine Gray (SSSC) lorraine.g[email protected] or Lucy Robinson (IRISS) [email protected] .