Funding for the training of the adult social care workforce has reopened for applications after it was temporarily frozen last month.
The Workforce Development Fund was suspended after funding was diverted to train new staff coming into the sector under the government’s social care recruitment campaign.
Care staff were up in arms over the decision, warning it would force skilled professionals to leave the sector.
But Skills for Care has told Home Care Insight that following “positive discussions” with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), it has been able to relaunch the fund to the sector.
It said the fund has launched three weeks later than it did in 2019, but employers can still claim for funded qualifications, learning programmes and digital learning modules their staff have completed from January 1, 2020.
The fund, which Skills for Care distribute on behalf of the DHSC, helped 2,795 establishments support 14,441 learners in 2018-19.
Skills for Care CEO, Oonagh Smyth (pictured), said: “The WDF is an important source of funding to employers to support the learning and development needs of their workforce, as they deal with the added pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic, with budgets stretched further than ever before.
“The enhanced funding for leadership and management will help the sector prepare to meet future needs, to effectively support the workforce and make sure people can access high quality care and support.”
The 2020-21 fund will continue to focus on key sector priorities, which include enhanced funding for completion of leadership and management qualifications, learning programmes and digital learning modules.
Employers can also claim enhanced funding for four listed apprenticeship standards – the Adult Care Worker, Lead Adult Care Worker, Lead Practitioner in Adult Care and Leader in Adult Care.