Adult social care providers in County Durham are being encouraged to apply for funding towards staff training and development costs.
County Durham Care Academy has secured £57,000 from the Skills for Care Workforce Development Fund for a fourth year running.
The Care Academy, run by Durham County Council, is now inviting applications to the fund from eligible businesses and charities that provide adult social care in the county.
Providers can claim back up to £2,000 per year for each staff member that completes any of the qualifications, learning programmes and digital learning modules recognised by Skills for Care.
Cllr Chris Hood, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for adult and health services, said: “We’re delighted that the Care Academy is once again able to offer local providers this financial support towards the costs of vocational learning for care staff.
“By supporting providers in upskilling their employees, we can further improve the quality of adult social care across the county, while also offering the workforce some great career and skills development opportunities.
“That, in turn, can only help the ongoing efforts to attract and retain people working in the sector. We look forward to receiving applications.”
Local care charity, Supportive, claimed £6,900 from last year’s fund and used it to put staff through diplomas in adult care as well as accredited safe handling of medication.
Supportive’s registered manager, Kirsty Armstrong, said: “The funding helped us with the costs of upskilling 11 members of staff with everything from medication training through to management qualifications.
“It means our staff can progress within the organisation and we can create more capacity to welcome new people to the team. We are committed to providing our staff with ongoing training and support so that we can deliver the best service to those that we care for.
“The help and guidance from the Care Academy has been invaluable throughout.”
The County Durham Care Academy supports the development of a well-led, skilled and valued social care workforce.
Since its launch in September 2019, it has supported more than 150 people in starting a new career in the care sector.
As well as support for those who want to find a role in social care, the Care Academy provides training to existing staff looking to develop and progress in their careers.