The end of November tends to mark the end of conference season and of course indicates that Christmas is on its way good and proper. In fact December is here!

Here at ARC we are reflecting on the two conferences we held last month (Leeds and Croydon) to mark ARC’s 35th anniversary of work in England. Across both conferences we welcomed 90 delegates! The conferences looked back to the 1980’s, when ARC became a registered charity, as well as forward to the future and at the potential solutions to the challenges the sector faces, and I must say they were great events, even if I do say so myself!

One of the main sessions looked at the key issue of recruitment and retention, essentially finding and retaining quality staff in social care. We were delighted to have Neil Eastwood, from Sticky People, presenting and facilitating a workshop during the afternoon session. He has a very engaging presentation style that really caught the attention of everyone there. As well as looking at barriers to recruitment, he focused on what employers could do differently and open up new channels to reaching potential new staff, avenues that we need to explore as a sector, there is no doubt.

We know that the profile of social care isn’t half as high as it should be and the need for staff in the sector is growing at a rapid rate. This coupled with the uncertainty of rights of EU nationals within the Brexit negotiations adds extra pressure too. So I am heartened to hear about a national recruitment campaign, being proposed by Skills for Care, to raise the awareness of social care as a sound career choice and inspire people with the right values to consider it as a career path. Details about how you can be involved can be found here. It seems at this stage Skills for Care are just scoping out the possibility of such a campaign, there are factors to be considered – impact and cost of course.

On 1st January 2018, a survey will be available for employers to complete, as Skills for Care gather and collate data for a final report to be submitted to Department of Health. Please play a part and have your say.

Lisa Lenton
ARC England Director

P.S. If you didn’t make it to our conference, we have popped the slides on the website for your review – have a look and if you want to know more about any of the topics please let us know. And Neil has written a very informative book on finding and retaining good quality staff– ‘Saving Social Care’, available on Amazon – it’s a jolly good read!

30 November 2017