Julie Morgan MS, Deputy Minister for Social Services
Social Care Wales has today published results of the pilot Social Care Workforce Survey. This was carried out between March and May 2023 and explored health and wellbeing, pay and conditions, training needs, motivations for working in social care and what our workforce value.
It provides a unique opportunity for the social care workforce to give their views on a range of issues which affect them, to shape how we address what matters most to our workforce. The pilot survey was completed by 6.5% of the workforce. It will be important to build on this to strengthen the voice of the sector. I am keen to ensure we drive forward ways in which we create wider inclusion. The workforce’s voice matters – they are the experts in their experience of working in social care, and we need their engagement to make meaningful improvement.
The results clearly highlight the outstanding commitment of our social care workforce, and the incredible role they play in providing services in Wales. But there is much more to do to ensure the workforce feels valued and have the best possible support available.
I am absolutely committed to improve pay, terms and conditions and to address recruitment and retention issues in the sector – both directly, and through our sponsorship of Social Care Wales. We are taking steps to professionalise the sector and create improved career progression opportunities.
We invested a further £70m in 2023-24 to ensure all social care workers continue to get paid at least the Real Living Wage. We continue to work in social partnership with the Social Care Fair Work Forum on the development of a draft Pay and Progression Framework for the social care sector. This aims to provide more consistent pay, progression and development opportunities by setting out broad bands of roles within social care, aligned with skills, learning and pay levels.
The draft framework consultation took place during the summer, as part of the wider Welsh Government consultation on the Rebalancing Care and Support Programme, and the outcome will be published in due course.
The Workforce Strategy, published in 2020, sets out our long-term vision and actions for the health and social care workforce. Social Care Wales are developing a Workforce Strategy Delivery Plan, which will draw on the feedback from the workforce survey. It will build on progress made so far and engagement with the sector will be central to developments. It will detail the key actions that will help move the social care workforce forward over the next three years.
By continuing to work with the sector, I am confident we will overcome the current challenges and address the issues highlighted in the survey. We will continue to deliver positive changes that make a difference to the social care workforce, and to the people who rely on the support of social care services in Wales.