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Recruitment and Retention Information for Adult Social Care Providers

To help adult social care providers with recruitment and retention we have pulled together in one place some of the initiatives and information that are available to you.

Moving Up Programme - skillsforcare

Moving Up

Our Moving Up programme supports Black and Asian minority groups who are managers or aspiring managers and have the desire and drive to progress in their career but are facing blockages and resistance preventing them from doing so. 

The programme has had a significant impact on the participants who’ve taken part over the last 12 years. It’s important to offer opportunities and support to people who are Black and Asian and wish to fulfil their career goals. 

If you're a Black or Asian manager or aspiring manager, this programme is all about you. By registering for this programme, you'll gain an increased understanding of who you are, your strengths and your weaknesses and a variety of techniques to help overcome any personal challenges you may have. It will focus on increasing your confidence and self-belief, to allow you to grow and progress to where you want to be in your career.  

The programme will provide you with the tools to focus and understand your organisation better to help you shape and influence your career progression.  

It will explore your personal brand, how people perceive you, how you present yourself to others, and your leadership style. 

You will share experiences and ideas with your peers and develop a strong support network. It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet other like-minded individuals and learn from each other.

For more information please visit the skillsforcare website

DHSC - Made With Care Recruitment Campaign

Here is a link to the latest DHSC Adult Social Care Update, with information on the launch of the 2023 Made With Care recruitment campaign. During the campaign, a wide range of opportunities will be promoted for building a career in adult social care, helping people to live happy, healthy, fulfilling lives. The Department of Health and Social Care is also asking care providers to list their vacancies on the Department of Work and Pension’s ‘Find a Job’ portal. Please find more information on this within the link.  

Curious About Care - Recruitment Quiz


Curious about Care is a values-based recruitment quiz designed to help in-home care providers in the process of recruiting staff. Candidates take a quick and easy quiz on their smartphone, computer or tablet, and recruitment managers then receive their results with a short report on their suitability for care work.

The quiz uses “Situational Judgement Tests”, which are a widely-used Human Resources technique for supporting recruitment to values-based professions. Using fictionalised versions of real-life care worker scenarios, applicants are asked to put themselves in a care workers' shoes, and to consider how they might respond to different dilemmas.

Recruitment managers can construct a tailored quiz from up to 11 scenarios which were developed during research led by the University of York.

For more information visit Curious About Care Website

ICS Care Workforce Steering Group - City Provider Reps Wanted!

City social care provider reps wanted to attend the ICS Care Sector Workforce Steering Group

The ICS Care Workforce Steering Group is a bi-monthly meeting to steer the development of the care sector workforce.  It is imperative that there is an ICS forum to support system collaboration and development of this workforce, now and in the future, to ensure that the workforce is visible and included within system workforce priorities.  Our aim is for your voice to be included and to have representation from all parts of the sector; care homes both older and younger adults, supported living, home care, extra care and day service providers.

If you would like to be involved please contact Amy Groom on

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire External Workforce Planning Project

Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Councils and NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Board are working with Skills for Care to improve the understanding of the local social care workforce within the independent and voluntary sectors.

The project has been set up to provide deeper intelligence and insight into the sector workforce to:

  • help set priorities for the Integrated Care System’s Integrated Care Workforce Group;
  • establish a basis for long-term strategic planning, market shaping and commissioning for our adult social care workforce;
  • aid development of a sustainable workforce: the right people with the right skills in the right place at the right time.
  • Create an external care workforce strategy for a sustainable workforce across the ICS.


Project stages

In April 2023:

  1. Workforce intelligence deep dive, providing baseline information, service mapping and analysis down to ‘place’ level (Nottingham City, South Notts, Mid Notts and Bassetlaw).


Between March and August 2023:

  1. ‘What matters to me’ inclusive engagement with social care employers and frontline staff; people who use social care services and resources and their families and carers; commissioners and service managers. 
  2. Review of local /regional engagement activity over last three years
  3. Development of a collaborative document compiling recommendations from stakeholders’ perspectives (mapped to ICS 10 people functions )


November 2023

  1. Stakeholder event: Review of collaborative document to support prioritisation
  2. Development of a strategic workforce strategy for the adult social care independent and voluntary sectors to meet the future needs of local people.


If you have any questions contact Amy Groom on

Nottinghamshire Work Experience Hub

Have you ever wanted to offer work experience to help grow your future workforce but simply don’t have the time to organise or the information to know how to start?

Did you know there is an already established co-ordinated work experience service for the Nottinghamshire health and care sectors? The Nottinghamshire Work Experience Hub is run by CARE4Notts on behalf of the Integrated Care System (ICS).

Work experience is one of the most important link activities not only between the care sector and local secondary schools / academies and colleges but to anyone wanting a taste of what it is like to work in the sector. This exposure to work is a significant step in preparing people for working life by developing their personal and social skills as well as the key knowledge and skills they will need to join the world of work.

There are major benefits for employers too including opportunities to promote apprenticeships and future recruitment, helping the learning and skills development of existing staff as well as raising the profile of your care home in the local community.

The Nottinghamshire Work Experience Hub has been recognised by Health Education England as an example of good practice and is a one-stop shop for those looking for work experience in the health and social care sector.

We would like to invite you to join the Nottinghamshire Work Experience Hub. The placement you offer can be totally flexible to suit you e.g. for a few hours, one day, 2-3 days or 5 days. Placements can vary between one placement a month or 3 a year depending on your capacity to support a person on placement.

The process is centralised, quick and easy, keeping the amount of paperwork you have to complete to a minimum. The following activities are carried out on your behalf:

• Publication of your offer of placements on the Nottinghamshire Work Experience Hub via the CARE4Notts website
• Processing and logging of all application forms
• Communication at all stages of the process.

To start offering placements or for more information please email

Care4Notts Logo

Have You Considered The Benefits Of Student Placements In Your Home?

Student Placement Opportunities | Nottinghamshire Alliance Training Hub (NATH) (

  • Introduce potential new employees to social care
  • The opportunity to educate healthcare professionals on how care homes works
  • Upskill current staff to be mentors and supervisors
  • Weekly tariff per student – placements vary from 2 – 7 weeks dependent on area
  • Students have a range of skills that will provide extra support to your residents

Following placements available: -

  • Student nurses
  • TNAs
  • Paramedicine
  • OT and Physio
  • Pharmacists
  • The students are all from local universities

Contact,, or for further discussions

Did you know that Notts Alliance Training Hub (NATH) can access apprenticeship levy funds which will fully fund the cost of apprenticeships for your staff?

Apprenticeship Levy | Nottinghamshire Alliance Training Hub (NATH) (

  • NATH will facilitate meetings between you and training providers to find the option that works best for you.  You can also continue to use your current training provider
  • We will guide you through the very simple process to apply for levy funding
  • Opportunity to upskill current staff or introduce new staff to your organisation
  • Invest in your staff to improve retention
  • Over 100 standards available from Level 2 – Level 7 from care assistants to degrees and everything between
  • More information available - Apprenticeship search / Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education

Want to know more?  Contact,, or

Workforce Development Fund - Now Open

The 2022-23 Workforce Development Fund is now open

The Workforce Development Fund (WDF) 2022-23 is now open to adult social care employers in England to support the development of their staff at all levels, offering funding for a wide range of qualifications, learning programmes and digital learning modules.
This year the WDF will continue to provide additional support to registered managers and frontline managers as this is key to providing quality care and supporting the workforce. Enhanced funding will continue to be available for the completion of leadership and management qualifications, learning programmes and digital learning modules.

⇨ Visit our website to find out more and apply

Apprenticeship Levy Funding Available For All Social Care Providers In Nottingham

Fully Funded Clinical and Non-Clinical Training via the Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Route 

Apprenticeships are a key way for people to learn on the job, both for new starters to the NHS and for existing members of staff, allowing learners the opportunity to gain a qualification and apply their learning while continuing to earn a salary.  Large organisations in England pay the Apprenticeship Levy and can then use this to fund training for new and existing staff. There is also provision for them to give other organisations access to their funds, via a transfer.  All primary and community care employing organisations can take advantage of this offer, irrespective of their size. 

Do the funds cover all the Apprenticeship training? 

The funds pay for 100% of the training costs for both clinical and non-clinical roles. 

What Apprenticeship training can be paid by the Apprenticeship Levy transfer? 

We suggest employing organisations use the Healthcare Apprenticeship Standards Online (HASO) to see what Apprenticeship standard training can be paid for by the Apprenticeship Levy transfer fund - It is a quick and simple search! 

How can employers apply for an Apprenticeship Levy transfer? 

Employers and not employees can complete an Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Expression of Interest Form.  This application form will be considered by a representative group by using an approval criterion. The employing organisation will be informed if their application has been approved, or not approved with the reason. It typically takes 30 days to process your application.  All applications should be emailed to

Once the application is approved, do organisations need to do anything else? 

Employing organisations will need to set up an account on the Apprenticeship Service. This is straightforward to do, and you can be supported to do this once your application is approved. The esfagovuk YouTube channel has lots of useful how-to videos. 

Incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice 

Employers and training providers could get £1,000 each for taking on an apprentice who is either:

aged 16 to 18 years old, or
aged 19 to 25 years old and has an education, health and care (EHC) plan or has been in the care of their local authority

Find more information on the GOV.UK website

Care Staff To Feature In Adverts & Other Media - DHSC Recruitment Campaign

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) are getting ready to start the next phase of the national social care recruitment campaign and would like to gather examples of people working in adult social care. As you will know, case studies are a very valuable source of insight and allow the campaign to tell authentic, positive stories about what it means to work in adult social care.

DHSC would like to build a bank of case studies of individuals who work in care, who can support them with the campaign. This could involve featuring in adverts, broadcast or print interviews or appearing on social media channels.  Here is the link for care providers whose workers may want to tell their story: this webpage. Anyone completing the online form can indicate which media (e.g. TV ads or radio or social media ) they would be comfortable with.

Onboarding Ukrainian Nationals

Many UK employers have reported challenges in completing the onboarding for Ukrainian nationals where vetting checks such as references and criminal record checks are currently challenging from within Ukraine. The Better Hiring Institute has worked with industry and UK Government to provide guidance on alternative vetting checks for people fleeing Ukraine due to the war.

Monthly Data Café – Data and Employee Engagement

Digital Social Care, the Institute of Health and Social Care Management and InvictIQ are delighted to host the Data Café – an informal monthly chat for people in social care to talk more about data and how we can use it to tackle key challenges such as recruitment and retention.

To see a full list of upcoming events please visit the Digital Social Care Events Page

Overseas recruitment bite size guide for social care providers in England

The LGA has launched a bite size guide to overseas recruitment, developed at the request of providers in the South East, which sets out the benefits and walks employers through the resources needed, legal requirements, cost, how long it takes and how to ensure success. It also draws on real life examples from providers. While this is written for providers in England, it may be relevant to other parts of the UK.

For further information email Amanda. 

Free Recruitment Masterclass

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Top Tips For Retention – A Briefing For Adult Social Care Providers

Ongoing workforce pressures have meant that adult social care employers and providers have needed to adopt a range of strategies to help retain and support their workforce. Never has this been more evident than in the past year when faced with an extremely difficult and uncertain financial environment and dealing with the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These top tips created by the Care Provider Alliance, ADASS and Local Government Association capture some of the approaches taken by organisations to reduce staff turnover and help retain people in the care and health workforce. Link To Source Information page

Through sharing these tips, the Care Provider Alliance, ADASS and Local Government Association invite you to share what successes you have had with retention across the social care workforce or lessons that may help others.

Please email any comments or suggestions to

Recruit to retain

  • Recruit from the local community: Use creative strategies to advertise and recruit local people who are more likely to want to work in their local community. Guidance from NHS Employers as well as a resource library share ways to engage with different groups in your communities, including previously marginalised groups who may not have been in work.
  • Recruit based on values and behaviours, like kindness, compassion and reliability, life experiences and a willingness to learn. Evidence suggests that these people are more likely to stay in the sector. Sustaining the flow of quality applicants with the right values is an ongoing task, not something that should be done reactively when a vacancy arises.
  • Encourage people to find out about social care by offering taster sessions, involving people who need care and support and their families, friends, or advocates. Have open days that are widely promoted to different community groups, including those who may not have considered social care as a career.
  • Communicate clearly with applicants about progress on their application, to help build positive relationships and keep them onboard for the recruitment process. Share information and timeframes early on to ensure eager applicants can start as soon as possible.

Offer good working conditions and remove barriers to working

  • As far as possible, offer flexible working conditions to ensure that the job fits around the lives of your staff.
  • Support staff by providing payment for things like travel, induction, and DBS certificates. This will reduce the administrative and financial challenges that they might face.
  • Promote a positive working environment and inclusive culture that people buy in to. Visible leadership that models the desired behaviours is vital.
  • Promote person-centred care. This can remove the burden of task-based approaches, improve job satisfaction, and give staff opportunities to build an understanding of complex care needs. 
  • Ensure staff utilise all available benefits, such as annual leave and sick leave if required. Finding areas where terms and conditions could be developed further across pay, leave and hours, as well as communicating changes to staff, will reinforce their understanding of what benefits they have and should utilise.

Understand your workforce and what motivates them

  • Encourage an open and ongoing dialogue with staff to understand what motivates them. Understanding the drivers of staff retention will enable you to develop good working conditions that appeal to your own workforce.
  • Develop self-managed teams. This can build trust with your workforce, while allowing them to develop their skills and work on their core strengths and interests. When coupled with a person-centred approach, this style of management can deliver top quality care. A community care initiative in West Suffolk provides some further insight into the successes that can be achieved.
  • Understand why staff leave. Encourage all staff to engage with leaver surveys and / or exit interviews. Use this knowledge to inform retention strategies. Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership had been able to use this information to prioritise resources to focus on significant issues.

Ensure wellbeing is on everyone’s agenda

  • Embed a culture of wellbeing. Employee wellbeing has been at greater risk in 2021 than in many other years. Factors such as uncertain job security, financial hardship, a lack of social contact, blurring of work and home lives, as well as experiencing significant loss of life have led to increased stress for the workforce. Organisations need to develop sustainable approaches to ensure the wellbeing and positive mental health of the workforce. These should be the shared responsibility of HR practitioners, senior leaders, line managers and employees themselves. (See Local Government Association and Skills for Care resources on wellbeing).
  • Be visible, encourage staff to talk and share concerns. Ensure that agendas for meetings leave time to discuss how people are, not just what they are doing. And find support to address challenges where possible, while ensuring it is available in various mediums for staff working in different settings and at different times of the day.
  • Develop a charter of wellbeing with staff input. Getting staff collaboration to agree shared commitments to wellbeing will ensure it is a responsibility for all, while reassuring staff their concerns are heard and addressed.

Invest in the workforce and their careers

  • Invest in staff training and development. We know from Skills for Care’s report - Secrets of success - that investing in training and qualifications aids retention and those recruited for values are more inclined to take up qualifications and training. Work closely with your training providers to build a programme that works for your organisation. There may be opportunities to fund this. For example, employers who pay the apprenticeship levy and have unused apprenticeship funds can find and support other employers who want to receive a transfer. Also consider the Workforce Development Fund and access to the eLearning for Health online training opportunities. In Cambridgeshire County Council, their retention strategy covers a Virtual College of Social Work to support all learning opportunities.
  • Make career pathways clear so that people see social care as a long-term career opportunity. Visual career pathways can really support development conversations between line managers and employees. Offer buddying or mentoring to support career development. Organise sessions for teams to share good practice and information across care roles and services, which can also help people identify new areas to develop skills and experience in.
  • Provide a flexible range of development and progression opportunities. People will have different ambitions depending on their role, personal circumstances etc, which you can support with flexible learning opportunities. Encourage staff to explore other parts of the system for progression, such as domiciliary care staff exploring a care home role or an administrator moving into a care worker role.

Recognise and reward good work

  • Recognise and celebrate the efforts of the workforce in all parts of the system. Managers and staff are encouraged to recognise and reward people for their efforts and achievements through verbal and written means, awards, bonuses or pay progression.
  • Sharing stories and journeys of senior or long stay staff. Through the use of social media and other accessible communications, hearing from staff who have been with you for a number of years and their stories of how they progressed may provide inspiration for those early in their careers.
  • Utilise technology to reach out to people. Online media provides lots of opportunities to improve communication with people that may be working in different areas and at unsociable times. Closed social media groups and channels can help to build a culture of team working, even when members of the team are working individually and may feel isolated.

Ensure retention features in workforce planning

  • Develop a retention strategy. Understanding what the motivations for staying in a role are at different stages of the employment cycle, may help you tailor support for differing challenges. The reasons for leaving in the first three months are usually different to 12 months or more. Determine what benefits and support are given to staff at each of these stages.
  • Develop attitudes to retain staff. All staff, from management to frontline workers, should recognise the skills, experience, and contribution of their colleagues, creating a sense of loyalty to each other, the organisation, and the wider care sector. This would help support retention as people feel shared values are practiced across an organisation.
  • Retain the workforce within the care system if not the organisation. Where retaining staff is not feasible within the organisation, facilitate movement within adult social care to benefit the sector. This could be via development days, work experience, shadowing, or taster sessions, creating a culture of staff being able to explore other parts of the system. This could be built in to contracted providers’ fee structures to enable their staff to have one day a year to explore work experience in another part of the system.
ADASS, Care provider Alliance and local government association banner

Building Resilience - Information from Skills for Care

Building the resilience of your organisation

Our Greater resilience - better care guide is for adult social care managers and explains some of the ways that they can develop staff resilience.  

It includes examples of things that you can do to:

  • reduce the risk of workplace stress
  • help workers develop resilient behaviours
  • make those behaviours the norm in your workplace.

Building the resilience of your team

Our Developing resilience in practice guide shares case studies about how other employers have developed the resilience of their workforce at an organisational and team level and it includes useful examples, templates and resources that they've developed.

Building your own resilience

Our Building your own resilience, health and wellbeing guide is for anyone working in adult social care. It explains what resilience is and suggests strategies to help you recognise and cope with pressure and stress, including techniques to:

  • relax
  • manage your thoughts and emotions
  • become more self-aware
  • look after your physical and mental health
  • get the right work-life balance.

It also has ideas and guidance about how to build your own resilience, for example through:

  • emotional intelligence
  • accurate thinking
  • realistic optimism.

Bite size guides

These bite size guide's highlight some of the key areas from the full ‘Building your own resilience, health and wellbeing’ guide to provide you with some quick support.

Funded Initiatives To Help You Develop And Retain Staff

Please find below information put together by Skills for Care about all the funding initiatives available to social care organisations to help them develop and retain staff:

Moving Up Programme - Developing Diversity Of Leaders In Social Care

Moving Up is tried and tested, and will provide you with the tools and techniques needed to progress your career!

The programme supports managers who have the desire and drive to progress in their career, but are facing blockages and resistance preventing them from doing so.

The Moving Up programme has had a significant impact on the participants who’ve taken part over the last 11 years. More than ever before, it’s important to offer opportunities and support to those from diverse backgrounds who wish to fulfil their career goals.

This programme is all about you. Gain an increased understanding of who you are, your strengths and your weaknesses and a variety of techniques to help overcome any personal challenges you may have. It will focus on increasing your confidence and self-belief, to allow you to grow and progress to where you want to be in your career.

The programme will provide you with the tools to focus and understand your organisation better to help you shape and influence your career progression. 

It will explore your personal brand, how people perceive you, how you present yourself to others, and your leadership style.

You will share experiences and ideas with your peers and develop a strong support network. It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet other like minded individuals and learn from each other.

Aimed at

This programme is aimed at Black, Asian and minority ethnic leaders who want to develop themselves and progress in their career at all levels, in all roles, in all different sectors.

Previous participants have come from local government, social care, commissioning organisations, charities, third sector, nurses and occupational health. Job roles include team leaders, managers, supervisors, deputy managers, care coordinators, registered managers, commissioners and social workers.

Learning outcomes

  • learn how to improve your confidence and self-belief.
  • develop and understand your personal brand, how people perceive you and how to raise your profile in your organisation.
  • assess your leadership style and understand how that impacts on the people around you.
  • enhance your leadership skills to become a more effective leader.
  • identify your strengths and weaknesses.
  • gain an understanding of the power of networking.
  • motivation techniques.
  • awareness of how protected characteristics and culture impact practice.
  • gain an opportunity to network and learn with, and from your peers.


Programme delivery

The Moving Up programme will be delivered through blended learning – a combination of self-learning modules and live online sessions to three cohorts of learners.


Register for the programme

The programme is now fully booked. You can visit our events page to register for waitlist

The programme costs £750 +VAT.

We are pleased to confirm that employers can now claim £500 per participant, subject to the Workforce Development Fund (WDF) rules. 

Find out more information about the WDF and how to claim.

Useful Links And Contacts

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