EdgeWorks™ Funding Alliance for HSC Employers

Employers miss out on significant levels of funding

Every year, Further Education (FE) colleges across England hand back millions of pounds that have been allocated to them to fund the learning and development of Health & Social Care (HSC) employees and individuals. All too often, this is because colleges are unable to connect with the HSC employers who are eligible to use the money for essential training and qualifications. For example, the current  ‘Knowledge and Skills Framework’ Level 3 government offering (part of their Lifelong Learning commitment) is already facing a significant underspend, even though employers see this as key to staff development and retention. And that’s where we at EdgeWorks can step in and help you to tap into these invaluable funds. 

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Understaffed and underfunded

Skills for Care estimate that around 56% of the direct care workforce have no relevant qualifications. Furthermore, a large proportion of them are not actively engaged in acquiring the relevant training and qualifications they need in order to provide the high levels of care expected of them. This is the very real issue that we are helping employers to address, via access to significant levels of funding that help us deliver real tangible results. Our growing ecosystem of partners allows us the flexibility and resources to provide a fully-scalable service that can support every employer, from small, local independents to national providers with multiple locations.

Learn more about the Skills for Care findings
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How EdgeWorks™ Funding Alliance can help

We have already seen that this funding can be transformational for HSC organisations, especially when it comes to enhancing their recruitment and retention strategies. That’s why our pioneering new programme, EdgeWorks™ Funding Alliance aims to alleviate the issues surrounding access to funding. By effectively joining the dots between our expanding ecosystem of FE colleges, industry experts and the HSC employers, we provide a mechanism to release the funding from the red tape, to ensure the training and spending targets of all stakeholders are met.

Learn how EdgeWorks™ Funding Alliance helped FitzRoy

The EdgeWorks™ Funding Alliance Concept

Funding Alliance infographic showing how the EdgeWorks Care Academy learning platform connects HSC employees with colleges and ITPs

What do we offer?

Put simply, EdgeWorks™ Funding Alliance matches employers to the FE colleges that are keen to offer funded access to qualifications, training, expert tutors and assessors – irrespective of location. Using the EdgeWorks™ Care Academy platform, we are able to offer a range of bespoke packages, all developed around your core requirements, including:

  • Pre-employment training
  • Care Certificate
  • Refresher training
  • Accredited qualifications at levels 2 and 3
  • Online assessments
  • Bespoke content and training development
  • Classroom-course integration
  • Policy management and compliance

In addition, learners are engaged by highly qualified and experienced college tutors who provide comprehensive academic and pastoral support. Employers have complete visibility of their learners, with the ability to track progress, interactions with tutors, assessments and achievements, via their own EdgeWorks™ Care Academy ‘Superuser’ account. Progression onto further training and qualifications can also be managed seamlessly within the platform, with funding following the learner throughout their pathway.

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Learning and development wherever you are

Geographical location is not an obstacle to accessing learning with the Funding Alliance. We have a network of key stakeholders across the whole of England that we connect via our unique learning platform, EdgeWorks™ Care Academy. For instance, we currently have learners in the North West who are enrolled onto our unique level 2 diploma ‘Working in Care Services’ and receiving fully-funded access from Croydon College in the South of England. Likewise, we have learners based in the East Midlands being supported on our level 3 Learning Disabilities qualification and funded by West Lancashire college in the North West.

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What are my options with EdgeWorks Funding Alliance?

Whilst almost all of our packages are bespoke to individual employers, we have two broad approaches available dependent on the organisations specific requirements:

Option 1: Qualifications package

This is suitable for employers who are happy with their existing training strategy and delivery and simply require access to funded qualifications. This option can be either an ad hoc or an agreed guaranteed delivery volume.

Option 2: Full-service training, qualifications and compliance package

This option is designed to help employers who wish to access a fully-integrated induction, refresher, specialist course and qualification package. Each bespoke programme of training and qualifications is based upon the individual client requirements. Using this delivery model, we can build a comprehensive one-stop solution for employers which, where appropriate, can also support access to Skills for Care Workforce Development Funding (WDF) enabling any investment cost to be matched by the funding available.

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What are the benefits of the EdgeWorks™ Funding Alliance?

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Improved recruitment and retention

There is a significant body of evidence that shows that offering a clear progression pathway, including access to accredited qualifications is a key factor in both attracting new employees and retaining current staff. With staff movement between HSC providers running at 63%, employers who don’t invest in staff development are seriously exposed and at risk of losing – or not attracting – key members of their workforce.

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One contract with national coverage

Access to a wider range of providers (colleges), courses and funding via a single contract, which is particularly attractive for employers who operate across multiple regions.

Assessments

From induction to specialist

We provide the option to include the full employee life-cycle: induction, refresher, specialist/CPD and accredited qualifications. Remove the headache of constantly forecasting training and qualification requirements – one contract delivers everything you need.

Funded training

Finger on the pulse of funding

Participate in joint bids to secure funding to support additional programmes such as recruitment drives, pre-employment training and sector-based academies all targeted at creating a constant pipeline of recruits.

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EdgeWorks™ Care Academy

Our unique e-learning platform can also help integrate traditional classroom-based training into one single individual learning plan. It also supports employers to meet their CQC audits and inspections and provides evidence in line with specific Key Lines Of Enquiry (KLOE’s).

Compliance

Fully compliant

Our policy management tool ‘Policy-Safe’ supports the uploading, distribution and tracking of key policy and procedures documents delivering a fully-compliant solution.

Frequently Asked Questions

What costs do I need to consider?

Joining EdgeWorks™ Funding Alliance is free of charge. However, all partners will require access to their own branded and supported Care Academy account and a nominal (monthly) charge is applicable depending on the combination of training and qualifications required. This cost can usually be off-set be claiming available WDF funding.

 

Are there any costs involved for just accessing qualifications?

Apart from having access to your own branded Care Academy account (see above), The ‘Qualifications only’ package is completely free of charge and is best for ad hoc users. 

 

How much does the full-service training, qualifications and compliance package cost?

This package is created as a bespoke solution, subject to individual client requirements. Access to qualifications is funded by our college partners with the cost of  induction, refresher and specialist courses  based on volumes and system features (branding, tracking, compliance etc) is charged on a monthly basis. As already stated, the monthly fee is usually recouped via WDF funding and so often results in a net-zero cost.

 

Any other costs I should be aware of?

Given that access to funding is via ‘public’ money all employers and learners have a duty of care to ensure funds are allocated and managed with due diligence. Therefore, employers will be expected to agree to a nominal non-completion fee designed to ensure learners adhere to their agreed learning plan and complete their qualification in a timely manner.

 

How many staff can I enrol?

There is no upper limit on the number of candidates an employer can enrol (subject to the funding being available).

 

Are there any restrictions on the type of organisation participating?

EdgeWorks Funding Alliance is designed to be fully scalable; we can support a small independent employer just as easily as a large, geographically-dispersed organisations. We want the Funding Alliance to be all inclusive irrespective of organisation size.

 

What about learner eligibility criteria?

Learner eligibility criteria does exist and is in line with national funding policy. We do however have access to different funding streams and so can accommodate the vast majority of applicants, provided they have: been UK resident for the past 3 years; have a right to work; and subject to their current academic achievements. Given that funding eligibility can often be somewhat complex, our team will evaluate each potential candidate and offer advice and guidance on the most appropriate route.

 

Does the funding currently cover all of England?

We currently have approximately 60% coverage due to the rules and regulations surrounding both devolved and non-devolved areas – we are working towards achieving 80% by the year end. Please note that even if we don’t currently cover your specific region, we are adept at securing contracts based on our Funding Alliance partners’ demand and so can often target and secure access to additional funds once we understand your requirements.

 

Will I be able to view my learners progress?

All Funding Alliance partners will be provided with access to our learning platform, Care Academy, where full learner tracking and reporting is available.

 

What if I already use another training and qualifications system?

Our offer is not a ‘take it or leave it’ decision. Many of our existing clients already use multiple HR and learning platforms, deliver classroom-based learning and have ongoing relationships with other training providers. We have the experience to create solutions that allow you to access and integrate our services, training and funding without compromising your existing delivery programme. 

 

What about other training and qualifications?

We are constantly looking at adding additional training and qualifications to our portfolio and are always happy to discuss your requirements with a view to building a portfolio that meets your exact requirements.

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