All Party Group on Skills

May 16, 2024

All Party Group on Skills focussing on Social Care

A new All Party Group (APG) on Skills was launched in April 2024.  It’s Chair is Sorcha Eastwood and Vice Chair is Sinéad McLaughlin.  The purpose of this APG is to facilitate and enable discussion, engagement and action on the key policy issues impacting our skills system.

Their most recent session on the 15th May focussed on employers’ perspective of the skills required to deliver social care.  This was attended by ARC NI members Positive Futures (Chris Perry), Extra Care (Alison Simpson) and Southern Trust (Brenda Horgan), along with Heather Sleator representing IHCP.

Chris presented feedback from ARC NI members.  This included setting out the underlying challenges within the sector around pay and conditions. The working group heard about the challenges providers have in recruiting and retaining staff based on current funding and how it was key that this was addressed as part of any work to improve skills across the sector. Chris set out how there is an increasing complex skill mix required by social care staff to do their jobs. The working group heard about how there was a need for increased investment required to fill vacancies.

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