health & social care
local government
voluntary sector

The Future of the Social Care Workforce

health & social care

local government

voluntary sector

08:45 - 16:20

Wednesday 27 May 2020

Central London

This Forum will provide participants with the opportunity to explore the latest policy developments around the future of the social care workforce. Key policymakers, including Social Care England, LGA, NACAS and Skills for Care, will discuss the current landscape, professional standards and regulations affecting the current workforce. In addition, best practice case studies will share lessons on effectively developing and upskilling staff, implementing an integrated workforce model and improving workplace culture for social care workers.


This Forum is specifically designed for Local Authorities and the wider Health and Social Care sector. Key job titles will include:

  • Directors of Adult Social Care
  • Directors of Children’s Services
  • Cabinet Members for Adult Social Care
  • Health and Social Care Commissioners
  • Heads of Community Services
  • Community Engagement and Outreach Officers
  • Residential/Care Home Managers
  • Specialist Care Coordinators
  • Care Supervisors
  • Care Workers
  • Councillors
  • Professors of Social Care
  • Apprenticeship Leads
  • Education and Skills Leads

This Forum is also open to the Further and Higher Education, Voluntary and Private Sectors to encourage networking and discussion.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Colum Conway, Chief Executive Officer, Social Work England
  • Andy Tilden, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Skills for Care
  • Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Chairman – Community Wellbeing Board, Local Government Association (LGA)
  • Karolina Gerlich, Founding Director and Chief Executive Officer, National Association of Care & Support Workers (NACAS)
  • Professor Martin Green, Trustee, Independent Age and Chief Executive Officer, Care England
View the agenda and additional speakers

According to Skills for Care’s The State of the Adult Social Care Sector in England 2019 report, retention and recruitment problems pose a significant risk to the sustainability of the profession. 30.8% of the workforce, equivalent to around 440,000, have left the sector in the last 12 months, 24% of the workforce are currently working on a zero-hours contract and a fifth of all current workers are over the age of 55 years old.

To support the social care workforce across the UK, the government launched their ‘Every Day Is Different’ campaign in February 2019, designed to help fill the 110,000 vacancies in the adult social care sector. The national recruitment campaign aimed to demonstrate how rewarding social care careers can be, as well as equip the social care sector with the marketing tools to support the campaign and advice to recruit and retain the right people, to address a high turnover rate. Furthermore, in August 2019 The Department of Health and Social Care released guidance for adult social care providers to help prepare for Brexit, which included workforce guidance for employees and the EU Settlement Scheme and recognition of professional qualifications.

As well as support current social care workers, Skills for Care and the Institute for Apprenticeships worked in partnership to ensure high-quality apprenticeships are available to attract young people into the workforce. Health Education England has also been working in partnership with Skills for Care to scope the potential for establishing fully integrated Health and Social Care Degree Apprenticeships to facilitate greater collaboration between the sectors, upskill the current workforce and raise standards of care provision.

It is predicted that an additional 650,000 workers will be needed by 2035 to keep up with the rising numbers of people aged 65 and over. Therefore, the onus is now on local authorities and the health and social care sector to collaborate in establishing and delivering innovative, accessible and high-quality provisions. These should focus on improving staff leadership, recruitment, training methods and apprenticeship programmes for the benefit of the sector and the people who rely on their essential services and support.


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair’s Welcome Address

Karolina Gerlich, Founding Director and CEO, National Association of Care & Support Workers (NACAS) (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Improving the Health and Wellbeing of Care Professionals

  • Outlining the importance of ensuring good mental and physical health for care professionals and the effect that this has on job performance
  • Understanding the impact that current funding levels are having on the emotional and mental wellbeing of social care workers, including lower staff levels and shorter visits
  • Discussing the physically demanding nature of social care work and how employers can provide effective training to help minimise injuries
  • Highlighting how the increase in the national minimum wage may have both positive and negative impacts on social care workers

Karolina Gerlich, Founding Director and Chief Executive Officer, National Association of Care & Support Workers (NACAS) (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Promoting Professional Standards and Workforce Regulations Across Social Care

  • Outlining the six professional standards which make up the requirements that  social workers are expected to meet, including how they reflect the value and diversity of social work practice
  • Highlighting the importance of social workers embracing and promoting the fundamental rights of the people they care for under the Equality Act 2010, including privacy, confidentiality and advocacy
  • Examining how Social Work England support the improvement of the social care workforce through their Professional Standards Guidance, July 2019
  • Analysing the Fitness to Practise Rules 2019 which outline when concerns about a registered social work should be considered and investigated by the regulator

Colum Conway, Chief Executive Officer, Social Work England (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Working in Partnership to Recruit Young People in to the Social Care Sector

  • Outlining how Lincolnshire Care Association (LinCA) worked with Lincoln College to develop the Care College with the aim of recruiting more people in the social care sector
  • Understanding how LinCA worked with care homes to help design an industry-leading curriculum for students to ensure they received on the job training in a care home setting
  • Exploring the importance of attracting young people in to the sector and developing the future workforce

Melanie Weatherley, Chair, Lincolnshire Care Association (LinCA) and Chief Executive, Walnut Care (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Outlining the Impact of Migration and Brexit on the Adult Social Care Workforce

  • Understanding the role of migrants on the UK social care workforce, with over 250,000 working in the social care sector and 1 in 3 employed in high-skilled roles
  • Outlining the impact of an ageing population on the social care sector and how the UK needs to be proactive about ensuring there are enough skilled workers within the sector
  • Discussing the potential ramifications of a zero net migration scenario for the UK, including the social care workforce gap reaching 1.1 million by 2037
  • Sharing the recommendations from the Moved to Care report such as increasing the attractiveness of the social care sector to British born workers, implementing an immigration policy that reflects the needs of the sector and a change in the way that care funding is delivered in the UK

Professor Martin Green, Trustee, Independent Age and Chief Executive Officer, Care England (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Successfully Developing and Training Staff to Become Effective Social Care Leaders

  • Outlining Encore Care Home’s Be An Effective Leader programme, which provides staff with the understanding, skills, knowledge and integrity needed to lead a social care team
  • Examining the programme which covered a range of topics including managing teams through communication, time management and how to resolve underperformance
  • Sharing guidance on how care homes and councils can implement an in-depth programme where learners have a chance to implement what they have learnt in the classroom, into their role in care homes, and then come back and evaluate their learning in a group setting
  • Exploring the key challenges and lessons learnt throughout the training progress, including the importance of ensuring a leadership programme is open to all staff

High Commendation/Finalist for Best Training, Recruitment or Retention Initiative, Care Home Awards 2019

Luke Wiltshire, Training Manager, Encore Care Homes (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Examining the Current State of the Social Care Workforce and Managing Growing Demands on Services

  • Outlining how the LGA are working with the Government Equalities Office to re-engage former social workers through the Return to Social Work campaign that helps to retrain and recruit workers back in to the care sector
  • Understanding the impact that Brexit will have on the UK social care workforce with over 7% of the existing adult social care workforce being EU nationals
  • Discussing the current social care workforce crisis and how councils must work in partnership with the NHS to ensure the demands for the sector are met
  • Sharing the recommendations made in the LGA green paper The Lives We Want to Lead on the future of adult social care including finding ways to innovate and improve services as a means of reducing costs whilst maintaining services

Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Chairman – Community Wellbeing Board, Local Government Association (LGA) (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Supporting Employers to Develop and Deliver High-Quality Social Care Apprenticeship Programmes

  • Outlining the full range of apprenticeships relating to the social work profession, and how they differ in terms of structure, training, delivery and assessment
  • Sharing advice and guidance around the various options open to employers wanting to become social care apprenticeship providers, such as how off-the-job training is delivered to apprentices
  • Detailing how organisations can access funding to support the professional development of staff across the adult social care sector through the 2019-2020 Workforce Development Fund
  • Providing updates on the transition away from apprenticeship frameworks and towards apprenticeship standards, and how this will impact the training of social care apprentices

Andy Tilden, Interim CEO, Skills for Care (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Implementing an Integrated Workforce Model to Improve the Quality of Social Care  

  • Exploring how the council embedded an integrated workforce model to improve local social care, as part of their Adult Social Care Workforce Plan 2018 – 2022
  • Highlighting how the approach blends together health, social care and other professional roles such as housing, helping to maintain the core professional knowledge and skills that social care offers, whilst enabling some tasks to be completed across roles
  • Analysing the effect the integrated care workforce model has on the relationship between the council and Nottingham and Nottinghamshire STP, such as adding measurable value to achieve local care targets
  • Discussing how the workforce model was supported by a joint workforce learning and development plan, such as multi-agency training to predict people at risk of requiring social care

Melanie Brooks, Director for Adult Social Care and Health, Nottinghamshire County Council (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Delivering a Successful Adult Social Care Apprenticeship Programme as a Local Authority

  • Highlighting the overwhelmingly positive feedback from students who have completed Hertfordshire County Council’s Adult Social Care Apprenticeship
  • Sharing details around the development of the apprenticeship structure and curriculum, including ensuring it meets nationally set standards and providing robust end-point assessment
  • Outlining the unique challenges faced as a local authority in establishing and delivering a social care apprenticeship scheme
  • Exploring how the scheme facilitates career progression for those already working in the social care sector, and evaluating how this has impacted on employee retention
  • Detailing how the scheme allows students to develop their experience and confidence through relevant work experience placements, such as in Supported Living or Day Service settings

Paul Rainbow, Senior Learning Development Officer/Adult Social Care, Workforce Development and Partnerships – Integrated Accommodation Commissioning, Hertfordshire County Council  (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Implementing An Emotion Centred Care System to Create a Positive Work Environment

  • Outlining how Tanglewood shifted their work culture away from task-based care to emotion-centred care and encouraging staff to focus heavily on residents to improve care
  • Sharing guidance on how social care organisations can embed greater meaning into their team member’s roles, including utilising training to outline why they do things the way they do
  • Explaining how Tanglewood ensured staff bought into the work culture transformation and removed any possibility of employee apathy regarding operational care
  • Highlighting the positive impact the change in work environment had on the standard of care and workforce, including improving staff retention and satisfaction

Tracy Ann Shelbourn, Founder and CEO, Tanglewood Care Homes (invited)

Winner of Best Training, Recruitment or Retention Initiative, Care Home Awards 2019


Questions and Answers Session


Chair’s Summary and Close

*programme subject to change

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