The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) has published a new report which explores the high level of skills social service workers possess and looks at what skills and developments will they need in the future.
The 'Workforce Skills Report 2016-2017' highlights that people working in social services in Scotland are skilled and knowledgeable. But upcoming challenges need to be addressed to make sure social services can manage in the future.
Many of the people interviewed for the report spoke positively about social service workers, highlighting their loyalty, commitment, sensitivity and expertise to providing high quality services to people every day.
The report also highlights areas where there are skills gaps with some evidence where there are skills shortages.
Anna Fowlie, SSSC Chief Executive said: "With over 200,000 people working in social services in Scotland, our report confirms the important role and impact social service workers have in our communities.
"The report explores the complex set of skills and knowledge that people working in social services have and need. It is essential that we get the skills mix right to take us through the many changes happening in Scotland now and over the next few years. This includes developing leadership and management skills and for us to become much more familiar with conditions such as dementia.
"Caring professions are demanding and challenging. “Caring” is not an easy job but it can be one of the most rewarding careers and our report shows that human skills – listening, playing, making time for someone – are at the heart of improving outcomes for people using social services."
How can the Workforce Skills Report 2016 – 2017 help employers plan for the future?
The report highlights the work that the SSSC, employers and others already do to recruit, develop and retain a highly skilled and valued workforce. It will help workforce planners, employers, policy-makers, researchers and others to identify the key workforce challenges in their organisation and use the evidence to support their work.
There's an animated summary, which gives you a sense of what’s covered in the report and explores the key skills challenges and opportunities for workers. Employers and workers who are new to workforce planning will find this useful.
You can also view the full Workforce Skills Report 2016-2017 and there is an extended version that’s aimed at workforce planners and anyone who needs to reference evidence from the report.