Scenario: A change in the weather

UK remains in the EU

Public opinion turned against the government and Brexit as economic uncertainty tipped the UK into recession in 2018. A referendum on the deal in 2019 saw it rejected, and the UK remains in the EU after all – retaining all the associated rights and responsibilities. Increased public spending is being funded by borrowing and increased taxes, enabling the Government to slightly increase the local government grant.

The government’s Care Task Force is investing in education and training to create a clearer, more compelling career pathway for carer workers who want to improve their skills and enter more specialist care roles.

New employment rights raise the minimum wage and in effect outlaw zero-hours contracts. A poor economy at home in the last five years – in contrast to a more stable EU economy – has contributed to a steady fall in migration from mainland Europe. Reductions in benefits for wealthier older people and an Estates Tax on the top ten per cent of estates are helping to fund the state’s burden around social care.


Prospects for investment in education and training would increase, but it may lead to the creation of more qualifications, not necessarily an increase quality.

The increase in social care funding to support integrated care is likely to be welcomed, but it could lead people to believe the issue is resolved, – whilst entrenched challenges remain.

Concerns remain about the nature of an integrated workforce and how staff could navigate this in their careers. This would be exacerbated if integration was dominated by a health service perspective.

With the emphasis in this scenario likely to be on formal skills and professional standards, there may be little room for personalisation and choice.


Technology could create opportunities to deliver more care remotely, with staff that are not formally qualified (or even unpaid volunteers / family members) deployed in those roles which do not require more qualified workers.


Develop person-centred education and training:

Build on the success of the Care Certificate and introduce more training that is values-based and person-centred. Learning providers need to co-ordinate their efforts locally, perhaps through structured cross-sector forums.

Improve the image of the sector

By promoting the exciting future of social care in relation to technology. Involve service users in promoting the benefits of working in social care and how vital and life-changing this work is.

Evaluate existing workforce development models and pilots

It is important to evaluate the success of apprenticeships and other emerging recruitment, retention and training initiatives in order to make business cases for extending and joining-up those that work. This should involve partners across the system including national agencies, training and learning providers and other organisations that represent and support the recruitment and retention of workers into social care and support.