More than £70,000 has been secured to support the training of adult social care staff across County Durham.

County Durham Care Academy has been awarded a £70,165 grant by the Workforce Development Fund to help local care providers cover the expense of upskilling their staff.

Durham County Council launched the Care Academy in 2019 to improve skills and resilience within the care sector by offering support across a range of areas including training, service delivery, digital initiatives and the recruitment and retention of staff.

This funding is in addition to a £44,000 grant awarded last year and will assist with the academy’s training offer.

Embracing Care is one of the providers to have benefited from the funding. The family-run business provides personalised home care to older people and those with physical and learning disabilities across County Durham and Northumberland. Thanks to the Care Academy, it was able to access £8,200 to support County Durham staff training. This ranged from full apprenticeships to short courses, including level two diplomas in care, understanding the safe administering of medication, and customer service in health and social care settings.

Jan Hutchinson, manager of Embracing Care, said: “The Workforce Development Fund has contributed to the training costs of 15 members of staff. The support we received from the Care Academy was excellent and we are looking forward to undertaking more training with them in the future.”

Cllr Paul Sexton, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for adult and health services, said: “Care workers have been working incredibly hard to look after vulnerable people over the last 18 months and it is important we continue to do as much as we can to support them.

“This additional funding will allow us to help more care providers like Embracing Care to upskill their staff, which is not only vital for a happy and effective workforce but to ensuring the highest standards of care for those who need it.”

The Workforce Development Fund is administered through Skills for Care and funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. It is part of a broader range of training and development opportunities being rolled out in County Durham for local adult social care providers.

The funding can be used towards the cost of staff completing qualifications, learning programmes and digital skills modules.

In order to apply, adult social care providers must first join the Care Academy. To request a membership form, contact [email protected] 

For more information about the Workforce Development Fund, visit

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