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By Debbie le Quesne

Fears over quality of training in Worcestershire as budgets shrink

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All credit to Worcestershire County council for providing a large programme of free training for the care sector. But like many other local authorities they have a massively reduced budget and training costs for independent sector providers is one of the areas under threat. I applaud the fact that they’re still offering a wide range of courses, but a course cancellation fee of £45 has been introduced. In a creative approach to cost cutting, the council is also running courses from premises owned by various care providers in order to avoid the hire fees at other venues. Some courses will in future be subsidised, rather than free and “train-the-trainer” sessions are likely to be introduced to allow providers to cascade certain training within their organisation.  Providers are also being encouraged to undertake e-learning in certain situations. Although these measures will hopefully eek out the council’s training budget, it remains to be seen whether the quality of the training can be maintained. The link between the quality of staff training and the standard of services delivered is well established. Sadly, reducing the training budget will almost inevitably erode the quality of training with the inevitable impact on front-line services. There’s an irony here: Those services are increasingly being monitored against ever-higher higher standards. By whom? You’ve guessed – the very same county council.

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