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Social Services: Apprentices

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 5th September 2019.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Conservative, South Holland and The Deepings

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to increase the number of apprenticeships in social care in (a) Lincolnshire and (b) the UK.

Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Apprenticeships are an important entry route into the social care sector, offer an excellent opportunity for employers to upskill existing staff and train new staff as part of high-quality training programmes, and provide clear career progression routes through the sector.

Social care workforce policy is a devolved matter. We fund our delivery partner Skills for Care to support the sector in England in recruiting apprentices at local and national levels.

There were around 550 apprenticeship starts in social care in Lincolnshire in 2017/18. Skills for Care’s Locality Managers offer support and signposting to employers and run workshops and networking events to support the uptake of apprenticeships. The Lincolnshire Care Association provide bespoke support to employers in accessing funding for apprenticeships and ran two symposium events in November 2018 and February 2019. Social care providers in Lincolnshire, supported by the local authority, have also been heavily involved with the first cohorts of the new Nursing Associate apprenticeship. The very first entry on the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s register of Nurse Associates was trained and works in social care in Lincolnshire.

There were 38,300 apprenticeship starts in social care in England in 2017/18. Skills for Care distribute financial support to employers through the Workforce Development Fund, including access to funding to support employees undertake apprenticeships. Skills for Care also publish information and guidance and run regular networking and information events across the country, to support employers in recruiting apprentices. Skills for Care also supports the Institute for Apprenticeships in carrying out regular reviews of social care apprenticeship standards to ensure standards are fit for purpose and meet the demands of the sector.

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