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Evaluating Community Skills Development in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Skills for Care initiated a Neighbourhood Workforce Planning & Community Skills Development programme, and NDTi were working with 3 early adopter sites in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, to help capture the learning from the approaches that were tried in those areas.

This programme emerged from a literature review commissioned by Skills for Care in 2010, Only a Footstep Away, which explored the meanings of ‘neighbourhood’ and ‘supportive communities’, and highlighted opportunities to build on these within the context of the Big Society agenda.  Since then, Skills for Care developed a ‘Practical Guide’ to help local leaders to:

  • Identify the skills, assets and needs/issues that exist with a given community (‘Neighbourhood Workforce Planning’)
  • Develop  ways of enhancing and sharing the skills of people living and working within that community so that they can better meet each other’s social support needs (‘Community Skills Development’)

Skills for Care, in partnership with local communities, employers and commissioners, was testing and developing this Guide (and associated tools) through a series of ‘Early Adopters’ – there were13 Early Adopter projects underway in England, and 3 under development in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The leaflet Enabling Skilled Communities introduces and gives examples of some of the different Early Adopter projects and approaches currently being tried in England.

While Skills for Care were evaluating the sites in England, NDTi was working with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council, the Scottish Social Services Council and the Care Council for Wales, to offer development support to early adopter sites in those countries, and set up Realist Evaluation frameworks to capture the learning as it emerges.

Both documents can be downloaded from the links on the right.

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