The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Care, of which I’m Joint Chair, has been collecting evidence for our Inquiry into the Professionalisation of Social Care Workers.
The social care sector relies on a skilled workforce but these workers, who are overwhelmingly female, are not treated or paid as though they are skilled.
Our inquiry has already collected written evidence from employers, workers, NGOs, charities, academics and care recipients to look at professionalising the sector. In the coming weeks, we’ll also be meeting with various stakeholders in person to hear their ideas and suggestions.
The treatment of care workers is directly linked to the debate around funding of our social care system, which has been in the news again recently. While a lack of funding means that those requiring care struggle to get the support they need, it has also led to poor pay and conditions for those who are employed in the sector.
A Labour Government will increase social care budgets by £8 billion over the lifetime of the next Parliament, which will be enough for providers to pay a real living wage without cutting the quality of care they provide. It will allow implementation of the principles of the Ethical Care Charter, already adopted in 28 council areas, ending 15-minute care visits and providing care workers with paid travel time, access to training and an option to choose regular hours.
I hope that, by working cross-party, our APPG inquiry can provide additional proposals to improve the social care system to benefit care recipients and carers alike.