Social care workers could be required to sign a national register following an investigation which has estimated 500,000 people are untrained.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Care (APPG) has dubbed the situation “a national emergency” and will make recommendations in September following an inquiry.
The move could see social care workers forced to achieve set standards before being able to work. Their skills would be monitored with a ‘digital passport’, available to care providers when staff move jobs.
Labour MP and joint chair of the APPG Louise Haigh said: “Over the course of our investigation, we’ve discovered that the social care sector is dangerously under-regulated with workers who are untrained, underpaid, and overworked.
“There is no accredited qualification for social care workers and, instead, training is largely handled by individual care providers. We’ve collected evidence suggesting that as many as 500,000 carers have no training and many more are paid under £9 an hour.”
She added: “This system encourages bad employers and creates a huge amount of risk for staff and the people who are being cared for. It is inevitable we will have scandal after scandal while we are underfunding the system and undervaluing its workforce. This is a national emergency.”
Care Certificate for social care workers is ‘open to abuse’
In evidence to the APPG, MPs were told that the Care Certificate, basic training for social care workers, is open to abuse.
In a statement on its website, Skills for Care said: “We’ve been made aware of a number of training providers (including e-learning providers) making claims about their products in relation to the Care Certificate.
“We’d like to reassure you that such claims are false and have issued a full statement that we advise everyone reads before putting their staff through the Care Certificate.”
No provider has been ‘licenced’ to award the Care Certificate because such a licence does not exist and it is not an accredited qualification.
Victoria Sylvester, director at Acacia Training and registered nurse, said: “The care sector has a highly committed workforce, but more investment in skills is needed for the future, as well as an increased focus on recruiting more people into the sector to meet the needs of a growing ageing population.”