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Workforce Development Fund

Workforce Development Fund (WDF)

Claim up to £2,000 per staff member on training and qualifications.

The Workforce Development Fund (WDF) is a retrospective funding stream from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and is distributed by Skills for Care. The fund allows you to claim back money towards the costs of workers completing a broad range of adult social care qualifications, learning programmes and digital learning modules.

Up to £2,000 can be claimed per learner per funding year through the Workforce Development Fund. You can claim funding for the same learner in multiple funding years, to support their personal development and career progression. It supports the provision of high-quality care and the continuing professional development (CPD) of staff across the adult social care sector by providing a contribution towards the costs of vocational learning.

To claim funding, an organisation must provide an adult social care service and directly employ care staff within England. An employer must have directly incurred costs for the qualifications or learning undertaken by their staff before a claim is made through WDF on completion of the learning. If you’re an employer in one of the advertised local authority areas, you can claim funding directly from Skills for Care. Gloucestershire is eligible for this.

To make a claim from the WDF, organisations need to complete and return declaration form by 28 February 2024, update their Adult Social Care Workforce Dataset account and submit their claim by 31 May 2024.

Skills for Care on WDF:

“An independent evaluation of the funding found that employers who contributed to the evaluation said that the quality of care they provide has improved as a direct consequence of the Workforce Development Fund.

“Employers also reported that they can more effectively meet the specialist or personalised needs of the people who receive their care and support, that the Workforce Development Fund has helped them to address skills gaps and that staff morale has improved.”

How do I become eligible for funding?

There are three things that you must do before you become eligible for WDF:

  1. Have completed the WDF direct access declaration form and signed the grant letter as set out above.
  2. Comply with the Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS) requirements or be prepared to meet these prior to claiming funding.
  3. Have employees who have completed eligible qualifications, learning programmes or digital modules against which you want to claim funding, see the list of funded qualifications and learning.

Training Offers from Skills for Care:

The Level 2 Adult Social Care Certificate qualification is due to launch in June 2024. It will be accredited ensuring its quality and recognition by employers as care workers come to work for them. This will also reduce the costs and burden of repeat training on employers.

DHSC will be providing up to £53.91m of funding to support 37,000 individuals in direct adult social care roles to complete the new qualification between June 2024 and March 2025. Eligible employers will be able to apply for reimbursements towards the cost of the qualification on behalf of their employees. Employers must be registered on the Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASWDS) to be eligible for reimbursement.

Currently 54% of direct care workers do not have a level 2 or above qualification. The introduction of the Level 2 Adult Social Care Certificate qualification will provide a baseline standard and help recognise our care workforce and the professional career that it is.