Building data analysis skills through an adult social care apprenticeship

Building on the success of our apprenticeships for children’s social care analysts, we’re launching a new apprenticeship to teach key data skills to support adult social care. 

Adult social care is a major cost to local authorities across the UK – with a total expenditure in 2022/23 of over £20 billion. This represents the biggest area of council spending after education. As the number of older people rises faster than the population as a whole, the sector is under increasing pressure year on year. The Health Foundation has estimated that an additional £8.3 billion will be required by 2032/33 just to keep up with growing demand. 

Data analysis has the potential to support local authorities to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of adult social care spending in a number of ways: supporting commissioners to monitor and improve service usage and capacity; enabling demand forecasting and scenario modelling; and connecting data across services to provide a unified view of service availability across a local area. Data collected at a local level can also play an important role in informing national policy. 

However, some councils struggle to harness their data resources optimally because of a lack of training and support for adult social care data analysts. To address this capacity and skills issue in a sustainable way, we have been working with councils across England to develop a National Level 4 Adult Social Care Data Analyst apprenticeship, offering a training pathway funded by the apprenticeship levy.

Launching in March 2024, the apprenticeship will equip local authority data analysts with the skills and knowledge to support the ongoing improvement of adult social care services.

Find out more about the apprenticeship, or register to join future cohorts, by visiting the website or watching this video:

Why are we doing this?

Developing and supporting the skills and experience of adult social care analysts is a route to creating sustainable capacity in the social care sector through the creation of a much-needed community of practice. 

By learning and working together, analysts will become more empowered to make changes that improve and support adult social care. This might include ensuring access to the right analytical tools and the ability to influence analysis commissioned by teams. They will also be able to free-up the time and space to apply their critical thinking skills to some of the sector’s most pressing challenges by automating more routine data tasks.

What are we doing?

Delivery of this apprenticeship closely follows our approach to developing a Level 4 Data Analyst Apprenticeship for children’s services data analysts in 2021.

We conducted two phases of user research interviews with adult social care data analysts and managers from around the country, to identify key objectives, missing skills, and potential barriers / enablers to accessing training. This enabled us to identify three key user groups and their needs. 

We tested the identified training topics to better understand user priorities before engaging with Corndel, the apprenticeship provider, to develop a detailed curriculum. In-person workshops, alongside the core learning framework, are specifically designed to ensure that key skills and concepts are embedded through access to real-world adult social care datasets and examples. Industry speakers ensure that apprentices learn more about the applicability of curriculum topics in their day-to-day work.

We developed and launched the first cohort of apprenticeships in March 2024 with participants from 15 local authorities across England and requests from other local authorities to launch a second cohort later this year.

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