Skills boot camps for the unemployed a desperate attempt to distract voters from government care failings

Commenting on a speech today (Tuesday) by work and pensions secretary Mel Stride, in which he announced a ministerial taskforce to tackle recruitment in hard-to-fill sectors like social care, UNISON head of social care Gavin Edwards said:

“There’s nothing wrong with promoting social care as a career and offering proper training to try to attract new recruits to the crisis-stricken sector.

“But forcing the unemployed off benefits and into caring roles, while keeping pay rates low, simply won’t work. Most people will neither want to do the jobs, nor be remotely suited to them.

“This latest foolish idea shows ministers are clueless about how to fix care. It’s yet another desperate attempt to distract voters from years of government failure and broken promises.

“Ministers once thought they could persuade school leavers to work in care. When that failed, overseas workers became the solution. Now migrant carers have stopped coming because of government hostility, care is back to square one again.

“But the solution to the problems in care is staring ministers in the face. While the sector is kept at minimum-wage rates, employers will struggle to find and keep staff, and the many needing support won’t be helped.

“None of this is rocket science. Raise wages substantially and workforce pressures will lessen. By creating a fair pay agreement for care and the beginnings of a national care service, the crisis in the sector could soon be a distant memory.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

Media contacts:
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: press@unison.co.uk
Anthony Barnes M: 07834 864794 E: a.barnes@unison.co.uk

The article Skills boot camps for the unemployed a desperate attempt to distract voters from government care failings first appeared on the UNISON National site.

Skills boot camps for the unemployed a desperate attempt to distract from government failings

Commenting on a speech today (Tuesday) by work and pensions secretary Mel Stride, in which he announced a ministerial taskforce to tackle recruitment in hard-to-fill sectors like social care, UNISON head of social care Gavin Edwards said:

“There’s nothing wrong with promoting social care as a career and offering proper training to try to attract new recruits to the crisis-stricken sector.

“But forcing the unemployed off benefits and into caring roles, while keeping pay rates low, simply won’t work. Most people will neither want to do the jobs, nor be remotely suited to them.

“This latest foolish idea shows ministers are clueless about how to fix care. It’s yet another desperate attempt to distract voters from years of government failure and broken promises.

“Ministers once thought they could persuade school leavers to work in care. When that failed, overseas workers became the solution. Now migrant carers have stopped coming because of government hostility, care is back to square one again.

“But the solution to the problems in care is staring ministers in the face. While the sector is kept at minimum-wage rates, employers will struggle to find and keep staff, and the many needing support won’t be helped.

“None of this is rocket science. Raise wages substantially and workforce pressures will lessen. By creating a fair pay agreement for care and the beginnings of a national care service, the crisis in the sector could soon be a distant memory.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

Media contacts:
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: press@unison.co.uk
Anthony Barnes M: 07834 864794 E: a.barnes@unison.co.uk

The article Skills boot camps for the unemployed a desperate attempt to distract from government failings first appeared on the UNISON National site.

Raising pay is crucial step in ending social care crisis

Commenting on a Policy Exchange report that argues against plans to raise care worker pay, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said today (Sunday):

“Social care is an essential public service. But the government has treated care as an optional extra, starved the sector of funding and done nothing to end poverty pay for care workers.

“That’s why care companies are really struggling to recruit and keep staff. Social care is in a desperate state and ministers have let the sector’s many problems get a whole lot worse.

“It doesn’t take a degree in rocket science to fathom the solution to the growing care crisis. Only when care workers get decent pay will more people want to work in the sector and the staffing crisis end.

“A fair pay agreement negotiated by government, unions and employers is the most sensible way of doing this.

“It’s a move the public will more than welcome too. People want a quality, national care service and this will be the first step on the road towards achieving that.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

Media contacts:
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: press@unison.co.uk
Anthony Barnes M: 07834 864794 E: a.barnes@unison.co.uk

The article Raising pay is crucial step in ending social care crisis first appeared on the UNISON National site.

Raising pay is crucial step in ending social care crisis

Commenting on a Policy Exchange report that argues against plans to raise care worker pay, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said today (Sunday):

“Social care is an essential public service. But the government has treated care as an optional extra, starved the sector of funding and done nothing to end poverty pay for care workers.

“That’s why care companies are really struggling to recruit and keep staff. Social care is in a desperate state and ministers have let the sector’s many problems get a whole lot worse.

“It doesn’t take a degree in rocket science to fathom the solution to the growing care crisis. Only when care workers get decent pay will more people want to work in the sector and the staffing crisis end.

“A fair pay agreement negotiated by government, unions and employers is the most sensible way of doing this.

“It’s a move the public will more than welcome too. People want a quality, national care service and this will be the first step on the road towards achieving that.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

Media contacts:
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: press@unison.co.uk
Anthony Barnes M: 07834 864794 E: a.barnes@unison.co.uk

The article Raising pay is crucial step in ending social care crisis first appeared on the UNISON National site.

Government’s approach to care visas allows dodgy employers to exploit migrant staff

Commenting on the publication of a report from David Neal, the previous inspector of borders and immigration, on the social licensing scheme for care worker visas, UNISON head of social care Gavin Edwards said:

“The government doesn’t understand social care. If ministers had even a basic grasp of the sector, they would have reformed it long ago. But instead, the inept approach to the awarding of care visas has given dodgy employers total freedom to exploit overseas staff at whim.

“Thankfully, many migrant care workers are becoming wise to poor treatment by some of the more unpleasant operators in the sector.

“Things have got so bad that many migrant workers may head for other parts of the world where their skills will be welcomed with open arms. The government has failed everyone in care – the good employers, the staff and all those in need of support.”

Notes to editors:  
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

Media contacts:
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: press@unison.co.ukSophie Goodchild M: 07767 325595 E: s.goodchild@unison.co.uk

The article Government’s approach to care visas allows dodgy employers to exploit migrant staff first appeared on the UNISON National site.

Government’s approach to care visas allows dodgy employers to exploit migrant staff

Commenting on the publication of a report from David Neal, the previous inspector of borders and immigration, on the social licensing scheme for care worker visas, UNISON head of social care Gavin Edwards said:

“The government doesn’t understand social care. If ministers had even a basic grasp of the sector, they would have reformed it long ago. But instead, the inept approach to the awarding of care visas has given dodgy employers total freedom to exploit overseas staff at whim.

“Thankfully, many migrant care workers are becoming wise to poor treatment by some of the more unpleasant operators in the sector.

“Things have got so bad that many migrant workers may head for other parts of the world where their skills will be welcomed with open arms. The government has failed everyone in care – the good employers, the staff and all those in need of support.”

Notes to editors:  
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

Media contacts:
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: press@unison.co.ukSophie Goodchild M: 07767 325595 E: s.goodchild@unison.co.uk

The article Government’s approach to care visas allows dodgy employers to exploit migrant staff first appeared on the UNISON National site.

Government neglect of care has led to low level of public satisfaction, says UNISON

Commenting on the findings from the British Social Attitudes Survey, published by the King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust which show falling levels of public satisfaction with social care, UNISON head of social care Gavin Edwards said:

“The government has stood back and watched as social care slides further into crisis. No wonder satisfaction levels are plummeting.

“Generally, staff aren’t treated well and with poverty pay rates all that’s usually on offer, many don’t hang around for long.

“Carers are often left to get on with looking after their relatives or friends, without getting the support they need. And when the person they care for gets to the point where extra help is needed, most have no idea where to turn.

“Navigating the care system is beyond stressful and not for the faint-hearted. But it shouldn’t be like this.

“Only a national care service and a fair pay agreement for staff can start to turn things around. But that’s not a five-minute job. The care sector is at its lowest ebb, and it’ll take a considerable effort to get it back on its feet.”

The article Government neglect of care has led to low level of public satisfaction, says UNISON first appeared on the UNISON National site.

Government neglect of care has led to low level of public satisfaction, says UNISON

Commenting on the findings from the British Social Attitudes Survey, published by the King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust which show falling levels of public satisfaction with social care, UNISON head of social care Gavin Edwards said:

“The government has stood back and watched as social care slides further into crisis. No wonder satisfaction levels are plummeting.

“Generally, staff aren’t treated well and with poverty pay rates all that’s usually on offer, many don’t hang around for long.

“Carers are often left to get on with looking after their relatives or friends, without getting the support they need. And when the person they care for gets to the point where extra help is needed, most have no idea where to turn.

“Navigating the care system is beyond stressful and not for the faint-hearted. But it shouldn’t be like this.

“Only a national care service and a fair pay agreement for staff can start to turn things around. But that’s not a five-minute job. The care sector is at its lowest ebb, and it’ll take a considerable effort to get it back on its feet.”

The article Government neglect of care has led to low level of public satisfaction, says UNISON first appeared on the UNISON National site.

Government neglect of care has led to low level of public satisfaction, says UNISON

Commenting on the findings from the British Social Attitudes Survey, published by the King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust which show falling levels of public satisfaction with social care, UNISON head of social care Gavin Edwards said:

“The government has stood back and watched as social care slides further into crisis. No wonder satisfaction levels are plummeting.

“Generally, staff aren’t treated well and with poverty pay rates all that’s usually on offer, many don’t hang around for long.

“Carers are often left to get on with looking after their relatives or friends, without getting the support they need. And when the person they care for gets to the point where extra help is needed, most have no idea where to turn.

“Navigating the care system is beyond stressful and not for the faint-hearted. But it shouldn’t be like this.

“Only a national care service and a fair pay agreement for staff can start to turn things around. But that’s not a five-minute job. The care sector is at its lowest ebb, and it’ll take a considerable effort to get it back on its feet.”

The article Government neglect of care has led to low level of public satisfaction, says UNISON first appeared on the UNISON National site.

Care has gone into a tailspin under this government

Commenting on the Social Care 360 report, published today (Wednesday) by the King’s Fund, UNISON head of social care Gavin Edwards said:

“Care has gone into a tailspin on this government’s watch. A litany of broken promises and a complete absence of action best sums up ministers’ appalling neglect of the sector.

“Cash-strapped local authorities have been pushed ever closer to the edge by spiralling care costs.

“The blame for the crisis in care lies entirely with the government. Ministers have failed to ensure council funding bears any relation to the harsh economic reality. 

“The sector simply doesn’t have the staff to meet growing demands. Care workers are quitting for better-paid jobs on the high street, leaving employers increasingly reliant on staff from overseas. 

“The next government must make care the priority it’s never been. Labour has promised a national care service and crucially, a fair pay agreement in care. 

“Raising wages in this way won’t solve all the sector’s problems. But it will be an important first step that employers, staff and those being supported will all be able to get behind.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

Media contacts:
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: press@unison.co.uk
Anthony Barnes M: 07834 864794 E: a.barnes@unison.co.uk

The article Care has gone into a tailspin under this government first appeared on the UNISON National site.