Scarborough-based social care provider organisation welcomes boost for care training - but warn that it ignores social care pay

Social care providers have welcomed new moves to help recruit and train staff but warned that the vital issue of giving the workforce proper pay is still being ignored.
Mike PadghamMike Padgham
Mike Padgham

The Department of Health and Social Care has announced a national career structure, a new accredited qualification and funding for apprenticeships and digital training to help develop the social care workforce.

Scarborough-based social care provider organisation, The Independent Care Group (ICG), welcomed the measures but warned that a continuing failure to address pay in the sector was critical.

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ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “We have long campaigned for measures to establish a career path within social care and for more funding to go into training and qualifications – so these measures are to be welcomed.

“Our major concern remains the elephant in the room and that is pay.

“Until we can find a way to pay staff properly for the fantastic job that they do, everything else will be just tinkering at the edges of the problem.”

The ICG is concerned that the Government is failing to tackle a severe staffing shortage that has 152,000 vacancies and homecare agencies and care and nursing homes struggling to fill shifts.

Some 1.6m people currently can’t get the care they need.

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“Sadly, the Government isn’t doing enough to reform and properly fund the sector and make it an attractive place to work and build a career,” Mr Padgham added.

“We have said it many times, the failure to properly fund commissioners like local authorities is starving the sector of funding and that shows itself in the industry’s inability to match other jobs when it comes to recruitment.

“We have seen in recent days a supermarket chain significantly increasing the pay of its employees. Without better funding for social care, we simply cannot compete.

“At the end of last year, the Government introduced measures that will make it harder for social care providers to recruit from overseas but without making any efforts to support providers to recruit in this country.

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“We want to recruit staff and build a professional, committed and motivated workforce to provide excellent care to meet current and future demand.

“But without the proper support over funding, we cannot do so.”