Friday, 20 May 2011

New social care training venue saves council money

Leeds City Council formally opened its new, in-house social care training centre this week. This provides a dedicated venue for staff to receive vital training, and will save the organisation money into the bargain.

Training and keeping key skills up-to-date are vital to the delivery of safe, high-quality social care. However, good quality training doesn’t come cheap and, with budgets being squeezed as a result of the recent government spending cuts, the council have had to look carefully at how they continue to meet this need.

Social care for adults, children and young people are all areas that are rightly regulated with very specific statutory and mandatory staff training requirements. The council also has its own internal training programmes, and supports the ongoing development of skills and knowledge through continuous professional development (CPD) and qualifications. This all helps to make sure that the best possible service is provided to the citizens of Leeds.

Following a review of training venues last year, it was found that the cost of hiring these was increasing rapidly, and as such would present the council with a major budget pressure. It was found that significant savings could be achieved through developing office space at Enterprise House in the city centre to use as an in-house training centre. The centre is now up and running, and is set to deliver savings of around £690k over the next five years.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for adult health and social care said:
“Developing Enterprise House as a bespoke training venue for our social care staff sends them a positive message about the importance we place on their continued learning and development.

“The venue was designed to meet our own specific needs and has provided us with a really good learning environment. Importantly, using this facility instead of hiring outside venues will save the council a significant amount of money, which is crucial as we deal with the spending cuts passed onto us by the government.”

Council staff and staff from the independent and voluntary sector who provide services on behalf of the council will be able to access training from the centre. This will help to standardise knowledge and practice across services, and strengthen partnership working.

The centre opened in March 2010, with 2100 staff receiving training there during its first month.

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For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578
Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk