Health and Social Care Task Group minutes: 30 March 2023

Meeting details

Date: Thursday 30 March 2023

Time: 9.30am to 11am 

Location: Microsoft Teams

See the list of attendees and apologies for this meeting.

Actions arising from this meeting

Actions arising from this meeting
Number Description Responsible/Lead
1 Course flyers to be circulated to the task group linked to:
  • English as a second language non accredited training
  • Level 2 certificates linked to Workforce Development Fund incentives to employers and separate learner incentives (Terms & Conditions apply)
2 Send thoughts on Transform’s legacy to (see Transform section in the minutes) ALL/VPo
3 Include flexi-apprenticeship information in the toolkit VPo/SCTP
4 Raise awareness of in work progression to workforce and prospective workforce Employers and  Recruiters
5 Flyers and posters regarding DWP support/updates to be issued to the group when available DWP/DM
6 Send meeting invitation for 27 April 2023 DM 

1. Welcome (new members)

KSt welcomed all to the meeting. New members attending today were:

  • EG of Bexhill College
  • SA who advised that TraC have expanded their flexi-apprenticeship offer to health and social care
  • PPH on behalf of RPal and Heathercroft Training
  • CI of ESTAR, supporting the homeless and those at risk of homelessness
  • JHur, JHug and CMO of DWP who are keen to promote the sector’s opportunities to their clients.


2. Review of Previous Minutes & Actions

Responding to KSt, SBu advised that two modular videos have been made about marketing your offer at careers/apprenticeship events. These cover creating QR codes, how to appeal to different generations and creating effective flyers and posters using free software.

KSt advised that a one-stop shop about nursing associate training is in progress. Update to follow in due course.

KSt and SBu have plans in place regarding future chairing of the group.

No other comments on the minutes which were agreed.  

3. East Sussex College Group – Updated course offer

SBu gave some background to this piece. Three elements of tackling skills shortages effectively are:

  1. Supporting employers to release staff when they are needed in the workplace, with financial incentives
  2. Rewarding learners financially who complete CPD (Continuing Professional Development) via vouchers
  • Recognising that training providers need good numbers to ensure viability which will translate into providing the highest quality service.

Many online self-study courses can be found by a simple search. However, it is hard to support learners this way if they begin to struggle or disengage from the process. This reduces the number who complete or have a good experience. Training providers directly supporting individuals can tackle these issues. Using a model of online virtual classrooms via TEAMs style software, learners get a taught session and group support, leaving them more likely to engage and complete. This also helps learners understand how long it will take them to complete the course.

International recruitment support is available from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). Many of these recruits need support with English language, however, there has been a fall in the availability of teachers of ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) due to Covid and Brexit.

DH advised that ESCG is acting responsively to the identified requests of the task groups ‘putting on programmes that benefit and make a difference’. The international department at ESCG has recruited nine more staff. She emphasised that learning a foreign language is not something that happens overnight for anyone. Entry level to level 1, 2 would be a long programme for any language - and this is the same with ESOL. Speaking and listening, reading and writing may develop at varying levels of competency. ESCG want to deliver shorter “ESOL lite” provision specifically tailored around sectors. They are starting with health care. It is a non-accredited step into ESOL and covers colloquial language such as ‘spending a penny’ that will be commonplace in the sector. Feedback from DWa and VSw has fed into the course content.

The course is 6 hours, running at Eastbourne (the most central campus to reduce travel time and costs for other parts of the county) and costs £18 to either learners or employers if the employee earns more than £18,525 per annum. It will be fully funded for those on no or lower wages. This is a pilot and needs numbers to test its viability and the model.

MDe said that he, as an employer would support staff financially –both fees and travel – to attend. He anticipated ‘lots of demand’. VSw said it would be good to link in managers as well as attendees to assess attendance and impact.

DH continued that level 2 courses are being developed with the Aldingbourne Trust. Workshops will be built in to motivate learners to finish and to reduce the isolation of learning solo online. ‘Understanding diabetes’ and ‘Understanding autism’ start in April 2023.

Completion of the courses entitles participants to a £50 retail voucher. This incentive is funded through Workforce Development Fund (WDF) money. Incentivising individuals’ CPD is mirroring what Skills for Care does for employers.

VSw raised the need for people to ‘own’ and collate their own CPD. KSt clarified that the e-certificates go to the employer for registration and recording on the WDF, but hard copy certificates go the learners themselves. Employer should not need to take these, even for copying. Transferability of qualifications and skills levels should be clearer this way.

ACTION 1: Course flyers to be sent for circulation to the group – DH/DM

4. Transform – celebration, impact and legacy

VPo gave a presentation on this programme which has been running for two years in East Sussex, in partnership with the county council following a successful bid for European Social Fund (ESF) money.  Transform helps SMEs to access skills training and funding for their workforce, improving productivity and supporting growth through skills investment and development. The apprenticeship levy funds are money from larger employers that smaller employers can access which often goes unspent. Using levy transfer means a non-levy paying employer does not have to contribute 5% of the cost of an apprenticeship.

Transform aligns with Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) goals. It was also aligned to the Skills East Sussex (SES) priority of supporting 16–24-year-olds into training and work, and current SES priorities of upskilling the workforce and supporting the unemployed into employment.

110 SMEs have been engaged, and 72 apprenticeships started. There have been successful roadshow events with two more in 2023: 21 June in Hastings and 12 July in Eastbourne.

The project comes to end in late 2023, and legacy is being considered now. As well as further funding for dedicated support to employer to continue, two questions seek feedback on the legacy toolkit:

  1. As an employer what help would you like to see to access levy funding?
  2. As a levy payer what support would you like to transfer levy?

RM has witnessed SMEs (GP practices) use the system. Everyone has different views but generally agree it is very complex and a ‘hand-holding’ step by step guide is needed as a minimum. This should include where to start, be localised and include updated screenshots.

SA suggested that flexi-apprenticeships be included. VPo agreed that highlighting an employer can invest in an apprenticeship, even if not the entire duration of it should be added to the toolkit.

ACTION 2: Send thoughts on Transform’s legacy and legacy toolkit to

ACTION 3: Include flexi-apprenticeship information in the toolkit – VP/SCTP

5. In Work Progression update

JHug explained that in work progression is one of DWP’s key priorities alongside support for the over 50s, and access to work support for those with disabilities. This fits well into the conversations had about staff training and development.

A 2019 survey of Universal Credit (UC) recipients identified barriers to progression in three categories:

  1. Internal drivers (examples being lack of confidence, difficult to rebalance commitments, no mentoring/understanding of opportunities, content with current situation)
  2. Logistical/structural (these include transport, job location, lack of flexible working, caring responsibilities)
  • Skills (including lack of functional skills/lack of previous attainment, lack of clear progression pathways)

DWP’s own survey in 2021 showed that of in work claimants, 41% have been in current role for over five years, 22% 10 years or more.

JHug explained the taper, whereby for every £1.00 earned, UC is reduced by £0.55. The £0.45 balance is kept, demonstrating the financial benefit of working more hours while on UC. There are funds that can be accessed to support with childcare at present. Wider changes in childcare are not due until 2025/26 but DWP will update groups of any significant changes before then.

JHug reminded members that there is no 16-hour rule, support for those with disabilities, Access to Work and a range of benefits calculators.

The information was welcomed and flyers requested.

ACTION 4: Raise awareness of in work progression/extra hours to staff – employers

ACTION 5: Flyers and posters to be issued to the group when available – DWP/DM

6. AOB (Any Other Business)

MDe explained that the grant funding to support international from DHSC was released regionally. [See AOB February 2023 meeting]. Timescales to apply were tight, February 2023 for 2022-23 applications. Final approval is due imminently for the South East. It is expected £60k will go to Oxfordshire for a distinct digital project. The remaining £350k for the South East will go out at regional level to develop resource to build infrastructure to manage a larger grant for 2023-24.

The 2023-34 grant will be around £2.5m. The majority will go to sub-regional hubs for distribution to individual providers. The care associations are working with the ICB (Integrated Care Board)’s Greg Woodfield and JHa on this. A project manager will be put in place. There are rules on what the money can be spent on. For example, it cannot be spent on Home Office fees but can be used for driving lessons and housing support.

The grant process was not simple. Managing the grant does mean regional care associations creating governance structures to manage liability and distribution. Using the WFD model should mean this is not too onerous. SBu advised he would be happy to make introductions to council staff who could support this aspect if it would be helpful.

RP advised that the West Sussex County Council ‘Great Career’ framework [see discussion at item 5 of February 2023 minutes] has not been published yet. The 48 standards in 4 different areas are agreed but the ‘kitemark’/logo and final name is to be confirmed to reflect it is about employers attributes. She continued that it will be mainly ‘taken on trust’ through self-assessment. Employers have the opportunity to use free text to add content, for example ‘staff are not required to wear a uniform, so a uniform is not provided’.

RP said that a £10k grant is to be used for careers events. Two events are planned as ‘pop-ups’ at Horsham and Chichester markets. Promotional materials will be created.

7. Date of next meeting

This will be at the usual time of 9:30-11:00 on the last Thursday of the month, 27 April. KSt will not be chairing.  An update on chairing meetings and forward meeting schedule will be made at that meeting.

ACTION 6: Send invitation for 27 April 2023 – DM

SBu led those present in thanking KSt for her enthusiasm and work in chairing the group since late 2021.

Attendees and apologies


KSt, Karen Stevens, CHAIR – Skills for Care, Locality Manager London and South East (East Sussex, West Sussex, Brighton & Hove)

SA, Sue Appleby TraC Apprenticeships

LB, Lisa Burgess, NHS Primary Care, East Sussex Training Hub

JC, Jennie Cole, East Sussex Careers Hub, Enterprise Co-ordinator

MDe, Mike Derrick, East Sussex Registered Care Association Chair

JD, Jill Durrant, University of Chichester, Senior Lecturer at the School of Nursing and Allied Health

EG, Elaine Gausden, Bexhill College, deputy Head of Childcare, Health and Food Technology

DH, Donna Harfield, ESCG, Vice Principal Business Development

CH, Colleen Hart, NHS Sussex, System Head of Workforce and OD (East Sussex)

KH, Karen Hartley, NHS Sussex, Head of Workforce Education

FH, Fran Highton, ESCC, Adult Social Care & Health Recruitment

RH, Ruth Hopkins, DWP, Employer Adviser Hastings and Bexhill

JHur, Jane Hurt, DWP, Employment Adviser, Lewes, Newhaven, Eastbourne

JHug, Janet Hughes, DWP, Senior Partnerships Manager for Sussex

CI, Casey Ingold, ESCC ESTAR, Senior Project Officer

EL, Elaine Lancaster, Health Education England

PL, Penny Lawlor, Kent County Council, Social Care Workforce Manager

SL, Sara Lewis, ESCC ASCH, Training Manager

RM, Rose Miller, Primary Care NHS Sussex, Apprenticeship Lead

KM, Karen Milligan, Care UK, Senior Customer Relations Manager

TM, Teresa Moon, ESCC, Adult Social Care & Health Qualifications Lead

CMO, Claire Morgan-Owen, DWP, District Office Employer Engagement Team

RP, Rosemary Pavioni [part], West Sussex Registered Care Association Chair

PPH, Paul Price-Hazelhurst, Yarway Group (inc Heathercroft Training), Chief Operating Officer

VPo, Vanessa Potter, Sussex Council of Training Providers (SCTP), Executive Director

GR, Gill Ramsay, ESCG, Business Development

VSw, Vanessa Swaine [part], ICS Adults, Learning & Development lead for Sussex

JS, Juliet Smith, MILE (Managers Investing in Leadership Excellence), Project Manager

GT, Geraldine Turton, Brighton University, Apprenticeship Manager

DWa, Duane Wadey [part], NHS Sussex, Lead for Widening Participation & Clinical Skills Project Lead

JW, Justine Willoughby, Brighton University, Nursing Associate Programme Lead,

IW, Ian Whittle, Reed RESTART, Partnership Manager South Coast


  • DM, Donnalyn Morris, Skills East Sussex, Project Officer Employability and Skills
  • SBu, Stephen Burkes, Skills East Sussex, Project Manager Employability and Skills


HA, Holly Aquilina, ESCC, Employability and Skills Strategy Manager

KBa, Katherine Ball, Rewards Business and Management Consultant

SBe, Steve Benwell, DWP Sussex and Surrey, Senior Partnership Manager

HC, Henry Clayson, East Sussex Careers Hub, Project Assistant

AC, Amelia Culshaw, ESCC, Adult Social Care & Health Training

NCV, Natasha Craig-Vickers, West Sussex, Care Workforce Adviser Adult Services and Health

PF, Paul Feven, Consultant to West Sussex County Council (WSCC)

HG, Heather Green, DWP, Team Leader Hastings

JH, Jason Hathaway, NHS Sussex Health and Care Partnership, HR Project Manager

SH, Sarah Hinks, Culture Shift, Skills and Careers Lead

RK, Ruth Keynes, Consultant to the Sussex Care Associations

RPal, Rebecca Palmer, Heathercroft Training, General Manager

LMi, Lisa Mitchell, Brighton & Hove City Council, Skills and Partnership Manager

AP, Andrew Pritchard, Bexhill College, Assistant Principal

JSt, Jennifer Stacey, Bexhill College, Head of Childcare, Health and Food Technology

DWo, Debbe Wordley, Sussex Housing and Care