The Workforce Development Fund: funding deadline extended

The Workforce Development Fund has already helped thousands of workers in the adult care sector to access improved training and career development opportunities.

Now it has been announced that WDF funding will be extended until March 2023, offering stability to the sector in the current unpredictable economic climate. 

If you’re an adult care sector employer based in England, read on to find out more about Workforce Development funding opportunities, who can apply and how to apply for funding.

What is the Workforce Development Fund?

The WDF is a funding scheme which distributes Department of Health and Social Care workforce training grants. The funding is provided through Skills for Care and contributes towards vocational learning and professional development training for adult social care staff. This in turn will help to support adult care standards.

Funding is available for organisations in England which directly employ care staff and provide adult social care services. The fund prioritises training to support new managers, aspiring managers and existing deputy managers. Contributions can cover the full or partial cost of a range of courses and digital training modules. 

Funding starts from up to £50 per learner for Skills for Care digital training modules and increases up to £1500 per learner for staff who complete the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management for Adult Care.

Who can apply?

In order to qualify for funding, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Provide an adult social care service that directly employs care staff within England
  • Have a member of staff who has completed a qualifying course or module between 01/01/22 and 31/03/23 and a copy of their learner’s certificate.

What training does the WDF fund?

Funding can be claimed for approved qualifications and courses that are completed between 01/01/22 and 31/03/23. It can cover course fees as well as certain costs associated with the training such as venue costs, coaching costs and the cost of replacing salaries and wages. 

You can claim a maximum of £2000 per learner in each year, and can claim for each learner in multiple years to support their continuing personal and professional development. 

Workforce development grants can also be claimed to cover staff backfill for apprenticeships and apprenticeship levy funds.

How to access WDF funding

Employers can access workforce training funds via two different methods, depending on their location.

Direct Application

If you are in certain local authorities, you can make your application directly through Skills for Care. A full list of the local authorities covered by this pathway can be found on the Skills for Care website.

You will need to submit a declaration and collect data in a format that meets WDF requirements. Then you can submit your grant holder claims form together with a copy of your learners’ certificates. 

Apply through an employer-led partnership

If you’re outside the local authority areas listed on the WDF website, you can apply through an employer led partnership. This is a group of employers in the adult social care sector who submit a joint application for workforce development funding.

You will need to submit a declaration form to the grant holder of your chosen partnership and collect data in the correct format. You can then send your claims submission form to your partnership together with copies of your learners’ certificates.

For more information on the Workforce Development fund, visit the Skills for Care website.

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