Skills for Care has completed a move to area networks that will provide more flexible support to adult social care employers to develop the skills and knowledge of 1.56 million workers across England.
The area networks will reach a wider range of employers bringing together stakeholders through different mediums including face-to face meetings, networking events, email and other virtual opportunities.
Each area network will have a core network group with members representing different sector constituencies who will help shape the activities of stakeholders, set priority areas for discussion and allocate a core network member to each stakeholder theme.
The stakeholder networks will include a wide range of representatives including private, voluntary and independent employers, small, medium and large employers, statutory employers, people who employ their own staff and training providers.
The stakeholder networks will use activities like facilitated discussions to provide summaries of area opinion and views with recommended solutions.
The added benefits of network membership include shaping and informing policy through active conversations that are fed directly to policy makers, access to the latest information on workforce policy, information on the latest Skills for Care resources and an opportunity to network with other stakeholders to share good practice.
"The move to these more flexible area networks could only have been completed thanks to a huge amount of effort by employers in each area and Skills for Care are in their debt for that support," says Skills for Care CEO Sharon Allen.
"The new structure will allow a really robust discussion about the big issues that face each area, but as importantly a chance for employers to not only influence workforce development policy, offering solutions based on the hard won experiences of stakeholders in each area.