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A social care workforce for the 21 st century: addressing the learning challenges. Lessons from case studies. Helen Rainbird & Elspeth Leeson, Birmingham.

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Presentation on theme: "A social care workforce for the 21 st century: addressing the learning challenges. Lessons from case studies. Helen Rainbird & Elspeth Leeson, Birmingham."— Presentation transcript:

1 A social care workforce for the 21 st century: addressing the learning challenges. Lessons from case studies. Helen Rainbird & Elspeth Leeson, Birmingham Business School, Anne Munro, Edinburgh Napier University. Presentation to SCWRI, Department of Health, London 17 th November 2009.

2 Introduction >Research project on institutional and organisational capacity for skill development , funded by Department of Health. Examined institutional framework (22 interviews) and 13 case studies (53 interviews). Focus on good practice organisations – all had won awards/external recognition – individual organisations and consortia arrangements, where new forms of cooperation emerging at regional level. This presentation: 5 organisational case studies: focus on lessons to be learned from good practice.

3 Structure of paper Short description of organisations which had innovative approaches to managing training The triggers for innovation – extent to which Care Standards Act was significant/other factors Fuller & Unwins (2004) expansive/restrictive continuum of learning environments – the extent to which staff are engaged in a range of learning opportunities which meet the needs of individual & organisation, or meet minimum requirements for training & assessment

4 The good practice organisations 1. Residential Home (RH) Family owned limited company, village location since mid 1980s, 50 staff, care for 35 residents, some day care services Awards care ambassadors scheme Owner active at regional level/organising sector 2. Community Caring Trust (CCT) Private company registered as charity, set up 1997 following public sector cuts, growing from staff, 700 service users Residential & day care for elderly, adults & children with physical & learning disabilities 5 day care centres, 35 properties for supported living Winner Times Top 100 companies to work for

5 The good practice organisations 3. The Agency (A) Large family company dedicated to charitable activity, part of a group of companies providing temporary staff across labour market Recognised for training & CPD of agency workers See training as investment > reputation, former staff become commissioners of agency workers

6 The case study organisations 4. The Not for Profit Provider & Training Division (NfPP) Established mid C19th as charity supplying surgical devices to the poor. After NHS, refocused on care of elderly Four homes providing services for day care, residential & nursing care, 300 staff, 200 residents National awards for BTEC induction programme, mgt & leadership training 5. The Dementia Team (DT) Council Home Support Dementia Team working with NHS Trust 14 staff, with home specialist home support workers, working in teams of 3 Skills for Care Accolade for most innovative new type of worker, national winner of winners Accolade.

7 The case study organisations Shared characteristics: building of internal capacity; whole organisation approaches, systematic approach to managing business & training, ethos of care for all workers Recruit workers for disposition over formal qualifications and invest in training apart from DT, rigorous induction Investment in training seen as reputation building, an alternative to marketing

8 The good practice organisations Triggers for innovation RH – Training quality standard (Investors in People,1994)> strategic approach, formalisation, owner a panel member > source of learning DT* – new types of worker project funding by Skills for Care > innovative teamwork using confident workers who share knowledge of users needs A*– experience of failure – need to develop internal capacity & draw down external capacity CCT – recognition that existing mgt systems were inadequate – high levels of absenteeism – fundamentals of HRM - staff have to want to come to work Top 100 company to work for NfPP* – need to meet statutory requirements *Only NfPP triggered directly, A* indirectly by regulations, DT* availability of funding

9 The expansive/restrictive continuum of learning Expansive learning environments – engage staff fully in a range of learning opportunities – meeting needs of individuals & organisation Restrictive learning environments – focus on immediate, task related training/assessment to meet regulatory requirements (Fuller and Unwin, 2004 – study of apprenticeship in the steel industry)

10 The expansive/restrictive continuum of learning environments in care work EXPANSIVE Assessor as trainer & developer Assessor as knowledgeable care worker Assessor has dual qualification (assessor/trainer) Tailored assessment & development RESTRICTIVE Assessor as administrator Assessor has single qualification Standardised assessment

11 The expansive/restrictive continuum of learning environments in care work EXPANSIVE Whole organisation approach Training, devpt & assessment incorporated into organisational practice Internal capacity for assessment & training Moral/ideological commitment to improvement & maximising staff potential Employee-driven learning Trust in competent employees RESTRICTIVE Reactive, compliance driven approach Training, devpt & assessment bolted on Organisation relies on external expertise Lack of commitment to staff development Employees see themselves as just a care worker Staff treated as unskilled workers with little autonomy

12 Expansive learning in the good practice organisations Other factors contributing to innovative approaches Trust in competent workers who know service users needs & understand their medical conditions Sharing of knowledge of users needs – substitutability> quality of service (cf personalisation agenda – danger of individualisation) Employee driven training & job expansion Organisations ability to grow own managers Access to educational qualifications for career development Training part of package of HRM practices which include work/life balance – particularly important in reconciling workers needs with those of service users

13 References Fuller, A. & L. Unwin, Expansive learning environments: integrating organisational and personal development in Rainbird et al., Eds., Workplace Learning in Context, Routledge/Taylor & Francis.


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