Scottish Government remains committed to delivering a more competent, confident and valued social service workforce, as a major contribution to realising its single purpose of a more successful country, with opportunities for all to flourish through increased sustainable economic growth. Doing so creates more successful and skilled individuals and strengthens the vital contribution made by this diverse workforce to individuals, families and communities. Our aim is to ensure that we have the right number of staff with the right skills in the right place at the right time.

August 2008

The Social Services Knowledge Scotland (SSKS) portal is now live giving access to a vast range of bibliographic data, as well as allowing social networking (communities of practice/learning communities) and links to information and learning resources. It will also provide information for users and carers. The first phase went live in May. Ministers have since approved further resource to a second phase, enabling social services access through the portal to 5,000 full text journals and 5,000 full text books, providing significant evidence based social policy and practice resource.

The Continuous Learning Framework consultation exercise completed at the end of May with a lot of constructive comments offered from a range of stakeholders. SSSC and the Reference Group are now considering these with a view to launching the final Framework towards the end of 2008.

The Change Academy project has received very positive feedback and a positive formal evaluation. Scottish Government is working to build on the enthusiasm and momentum generated by the many engaged participants and to extend the project into another phase that will engage a wider range of key stakeholders.

Next Meeting of Workforce Group: 4 November

30 April 2008

Minister for Children & Early Years, Adam Ingram, speaks at Children In Scotland event in Edinburgh on Developing the Children’s Sector Workforce.

March 2008

The Change Academy project is now well underway, and the main residential event took place January 12th — 15th 2008. The project is being steered on behalf of the workforce change programme by a group comprising IRISS, SSSC, Universities Scotland, the Quality Assurance Agency and the Scottish Funding Council.

During the residential event university teams were brought together with employers and other stakeholders and began to think about how they might work together across key themes from Changing Lives. The Change Academy is thus opening up some innovative thinking and opportunities for active policy delivery and partnership working.

The NHS e-library, in partnership with IRISS, SCIE, and the SSSC Learning Networks, has established a short-life working group in order to develop the Social Services Knowledge Scotland (SSKS) portal, to map on to the SSSC community. The SSKS will give access to a vast range of bibliographic data, as well as allowing social networking (communities of practice/learning communities) and links to information and learning resources. It will also provide information for users and carers. It is hoped that it will go live by the end of April 2008.

The Recruitment and Retention Sub-Group continues to meet and is currently considering how it can support employers. Consideration is being given to developing materials to improve information available on the internet in relation to careers in the sector. Research is also being considered which would help support employers’ recruitment and retention practice.

The Workforce Intelligence Group has held an event to consider issues around improving workforce planning and the use of workforce data. Consideration is being given as to how new data on the workforce can be utilised to advance workforce planning in the sector.

December 2007

The Workforce Group has set out its strategic tasks in its work plan and is proposing to have a second development day early in 2008 to review its role and priorities.

The Recruitment and Retention Sub-Group met for the first time in November, chaired by Karen Donaldson of Perth & Kinross Council. The Group is developing its remit and will consider national and local roles in relation to recruitment and retention of staff.

Outwith the Workforce Group, dialogue will be opened up between Scottish Government, the Learning Networks and the SSSC in the coming months to discuss the future role for the Learning Networks. Regular meetings will be held with the Learning Networks, the first of which was at the end of October. The Network will receive continued funding for 2008-09.


A capable, well prepared and supported workforce is essential to delivering the vision of Changing Lives. Developing the workforce is therefore the biggest change programme. It encompasses actions to develop the skills and capability of the workforce, to make effective use of those skills through improved teamwork and skill mix and to plan effectively for current and future needs. This change programme will include the following workstreams: Implementing the National Strategy for the Development of the Social Services Workforce., Building partnerships between education and practice., Developing new roles, including a new para-professional role., Developing career pathways., Developing workforce planning. and Improving recruitment & retention.