Barriers to employment in early learning and childcare: EQIA
This equality impact assessment (EQIA) was undertaken to consider barriers faced by those with protected characteristics to taking up employment in the early learning and childcare (ELC) sector and how we can use the opportunity of the expansion to increase the diversity of the ELC workforce.
Equalities Impact Assessment - considering barriers to employment in the Early Learning and Childcare Sector
|Title of Policy||Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) Programme: Workforce Expansion and Development|
|Summary of aims and desired outcomes of Policy|| The Scottish Government and local authorities have committed to almost double the funded entitlement to ELC from 600 to 1140 hours from August 2020 for all 3 and 4 year olds and eligible 2 year olds. This will be high quality, flexible ELC that is accessible and affordable for families. The expansion will deliver three main benefits for children and families:
|Directorate: Division: teams||Early Learning and Childcare Programme: Quality Unit, Workforce Expansion and Workforce Development|
- The Children and Young People Act (Scotland) 2014 (the 2014 Act) made 600 hours of funded ELC per year available for all 3 and 4 year olds (from the relevant start date), and extended the entitlement to eligible 2 year olds. In a joint agreement with local government, the Scottish Government has committed to almost double the entitlement to 1140 hours per year from August 2020.
- A 'provider neutral' Funding Follows the Child approach will be introduced alongside the national roll-out of the expanded entitlement in 2020. Funding Follows the Child is underpinned by a National Standard that all providers delivering the expanded hours – regardless of whether they are in the public, private or third sector, or childminders – will have to meet. This will provide reassurance to parents and carers that any provider offering the funded hours will be able to offer their child a high quality ELC experience.
- As well as offering greater choice of high quality providers, the expansion to 1140 hours will also enable parents to access different patterns of provision. Secondary legislation has been passed in the Scottish Parliament to increase the maximum session length for funded ELC from 8 hours to 10 hours and to remove the minimum session length time. This will come in to force from August 2019.
- This will enable families to access their child's funded ELC entitlement over longer sessions over a smaller number of days if this best meets their family needs and is available locally. This change is based on feedback from a number of consultation events on the National Standard, and from our research on Parents' Views and Use of ELC in Scotland where there was wide support to provide more flexibility with session lengths.
- The expansion of funded ELC requires an expansion of the ELC workforce in Scotland. The Workforce Expansion project of the programme is focussed on creating the conditions nationally to facilitate the recruitment of up to 11,000 additional workers to the sector. The scale of the workforce expansion presents an opportunity to increase the diversity of the workforce.
- The composition of the current ELC workforce shows there is particular scope to increase the proportion of those working in the sector from notably underrepresented groups, in particular males, those from Ethnic Minority (EM) communities and those with disabilities.
- The requirement for up to 11,000 additional ELC professionals also presents economic opportunities for anyone not already in work or training, young people starting their career, or those seeking to change careers.
- Quality is already, and will continue to be, at the heart of ELC expansion. One of the most important drivers of quality is the quality of the workforce. There are a number of practice guidance resources, registration and qualification requirements that ensure ELC practitioners are considering equality and fair practice in their day to day work. Training on aspects of equality and inclusion is part of the core training which all staff delivering the funded hours will have to carry out when obtaining their benchmark qualifications. Through this training, all practitioners delivering the funded hours will be able to ensure their own actions promote equity and inclusion and do not discriminate and that they are able to take appropriate steps when the actions of others are discriminatory.
- This EQIA process did not identify any direct or indirect unlawful discrimination in seeking to recruit up to 11,000 additional staff and diversify the workforce in doing so. In addition, this process identified a number of areas where the recruitment of additional ELC professionals can help to advance equality of opportunity for people with a protected characteristic and promote good relations between those with and those without a protected characteristic. The expansion programme is supported by a benefits realisation strategy and the Scottish Study of Early Learning and Childcare (SSELC) which will evaluate its long term impact.
- We will remain engaged with local authorities, national public bodies and other stakeholders, including equality stakeholders, to ensure that equalities issues continue to be considered in relation to the development and implementation of policies to support the workforce expansion and development projects.
The Scottish Government and local authorities have committed to almost double the funded entitlement to ELC from 600 to 1140 hours from August 2020 for all 3 and 4 year olds and eligible 2 year olds. This will be high quality, flexible ELC that is accessible and affordable for all families.
The expansion will deliver three main benefits for children and families:
1. Children's development improves and the poverty related attainment gap narrows;
2. More parents will have the opportunity to be in work, training or study; and,
3. Increased family resilience though improved health and wellbeing of parents and children.
The Scottish Government has worked in partnership with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) and a variety of stakeholders across the ELC sector throughout the development of the 1140 expansion policy and has consulted widely on the expansion of funded ELC.
There is currently very high uptake of funded ELC in Scotland. Our latest ELC census data shows near universal uptake of funded ELC by 3 and 4 year olds. Approximately 10% of 2 year olds are registered for funded ELC (compared to the roughly 25% that are eligible), and this has increased gradually over the last few years. In addition, our Research on Parents' Views and Use of ELC in Scotlandshowed that of the parents surveyed, 90% would use some or all of their child's expanded hours if the expanded entitlement were available now and offered required flexibility.
Local authorities are 'phasing in' the expanded offer between now and August 2020. This allows local authorities and nurseries to test the practicalities of the expanded offer, and to get feedback from parents. Our expansion planning guidance which was issued to local authorities in March 2017 made clear that plans for phasing should reflect the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation to ensure that families and communities who stand to benefit most from the expansion also benefit first. As a result of 'phasing in' of the entitlement, over 11,000 2 to 5 year olds were already accessing more than 600 hours of funded ELC as at September 2018.
The expansion of ELC is a key contributor to our ambition to close the poverty-related attainment gap as well as progressing our wider equalities agenda. The ELC programme is responsible for realising the expansion, along with local authorities. Local authorities have a duty to deliver statutory funded ELC, either through their own provision or in partnership with private or third sector partners.
With regard to the Workforce Expansion elements of the programme, the aim is to facilitate the recruitment of up to 11,000 additional workers to the sector. In addition, Scottish Government and partners are using the scale of the expansion to deliberately reach out to groups under-represented in the current ELC workforce, with a focus in particular on attracting more males, more people from EM backgrounds and more people with disabilities.
Increasing the diversity of the workforce is intended to also benefit children by providing a richer learning environment with an increased range of role models and increased exposure to different cultures and backgrounds. The intention is that a more diverse workforce both benefits children's outcomes now, and contributes to a more equal future society where, for example, occupational segregation by gender is less marked.
The recent publication of the Funding Follows the Child and National Standard States that all employers of ELC staff should adhere to Fair Work Practices (criteria 8):
- a fair and equal pay policy across their setting, (including a commitment to supporting the real Living Wage);
- promoting equality of opportunity and developing a workforce which reflects the population of Scotland in terms of characteristics such as age, gender, religion or belief, race, sexual orientation and disability;
- security of employment and hours of work, avoiding exploitative employment practices such as unfair zero hours contracts, or pregnancy and maternity discrimination;
- consideration of patterns of working (including, for example, part-time working and/or term-time working) and support for family friendly working and wider work life balance;
Although we are aware of certain barriers, discussed later in this document, to some people pursuing a career in ELC, the EQIA process did not identify any indirect or direct discrimination in the policy intention to expand and diversify the workforce. However, there are protected characteristics for which data is not available in current workforce data collections. These are: religion or belief; pregnancy and maternity; sexual orientation; gender reassignment and marriage / civil partnership. We cannot, therefore, fully assess whether those with particular protected characteristics face barriers or discrimination in pursuing a career in ELC.
It is intended that this EQIA will be updated throughout 2019/2020 as the workforce expansion and development projects progress. As part of this process, we will continue to work with equality stakeholders to identify potential impacts on all groups with a protected characteristic. In addition, we will continue to work with the sector to encourage recruitment practices that ensure those with protected characteristics do not face unnecessary barriers to pursuing a career in ELC.
Quality is already, and will continue to be, at the heart of ELC expansion. One of the most important drivers of quality is the quality of the workforce. There are a number of practice guidance information, registration requirements and qualification requirements that ensure practitioners are considering equality and fair practice in their day to day work.
Sub-criteria 1.2 of the National Standard requires all support workers, practitioners and lead practitioners/managers working in ELC settings, and included in the adult: child ratios, to have either obtained the benchmark qualification for their role or, if they are still within their first 5 years of registering with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), to have started to work towards this. Training on aspects of equality and inclusion is part of the core training which all staff delivering the funded hours will have to carry out when obtaining their benchmark qualifications. Through this training, all practitioners delivering the funded hours will be able to ensure their own actions promote equity and inclusion and do not discriminate and that they are able to take appropriate steps when the actions of others are discriminatory.
Figure 1: Qualifications for the ELC Workforce
Source: Early Learning and Childcare - National Induction Resource 2019 http://learn.sssc.uk.com/AppResources/earlylearning.pdf
The operating guidance for the National Standard recommends training and development for staff on the features of the duties under the Equality Act 2010 to further understand how they meet this duty. It also signposts the Equality and Human Rights Commission technical guidance in relation to the provision of education and the Care Inspectorate's support resource on gender equal play in ELC. In addition, a module on building confidence in identifying and responding to additional support needs will be included in the national online programme of Continuous Professional Learning (CPL), which we are developing for the ELC sector, as committed to in our Quality Action Plan. Education Scotland has also developed free online inclusion resources aimed at practitioners which provide an introduction to inclusion and equality within the Scottish educational context.
Our Early Learning and Childcare National Induction Resource details the registration requirements for all ELC practitioners including how they work within Scotland's Health and Social Care Standards in their practice. There are six main principles behind Scotland's Health and Social Care Standards: Dignity, Privacy, Choice, Safety, Realising Potential and Equality and Diversity.
A Blue Print for 2020: The Expansion of Early Learning and Childcare in Scotland - Quality Action Plan clearly states that a high quality workforce is one of the single most important drivers of the quality of a child's ELC experience and that CPL is an essential component of ELC quality and is linked to children's development. Evidence suggests that CPL helps ensure staff are aware of best practice and are continually supported in their workplace, which reduces staff turnover and can have an even greater impact on quality than practitioners' initial training and education.
The Scope of the EQIA
This EQIA was undertaken to consider barriers faced by those with protected characteristics to taking up employment in the ELC sector and how we can use the opportunity of the expansion to increase the diversity of the ELC workforce.
A number of further EQIAs have or will be published to explore other elements of the funded ELC expansion programme, including:
- Two year old eligibility: considering how proposed changes to the income threshold impacts the eligible population;
- Uptake, Eligibility and Engagement: considering the impacts on children and families with a protected characteristic of increasing the statutory entitlement to 1140 hours of funded ELC and of modifying the current minimum and maximum session lengths (the 'minimum delivery framework'); and
- Learning and wellbeing: considering how ELC policy impacts on children's outcomes.
In addition, we are undertaking a Fairer Scotland Duty impact assessment. This will assess the impact of the increase in the entitlement to funded ELC on families facing socio-economic disadvantage.
Key Data Sources
A number of data sources were used in this EQIA process, including:
- Scottish Government ELC census which provides information on funded ELC. This includes data on the number of registrations for funded ELC, with information available on numbers by age, disability and additional support needs. Additionally, data on teachers, graduates and staff working towards graduate level qualifications working in funded ELC is provided.
- SSSC, Reports on Workforce Data which provides information on all staff working in the social service sector in Scotland. This includes data on those working in the Daycare of children sector and provides a breakdown for several equalities characteristics.
In addition, we worked with the national skills body, Skills Development Scotland (SDS), to commission bespoke research on barriers to under-represented groups joining the ELC workforce.
The Scottish Government has consulted widely on the expansion of funded ELC and finding from these consultations have shaped the development of the policy. Those relevant to this EQIA are:
- 1140 Hours Expansion – Programme of trials . This consultation gathered views on the Scottish Government's programme of trials to test a variety of models for delivering the expanded ELC commitment. This consultation received 73 responses.
- A Blueprint for 2020: The Expansion in Early Learning and Childcare [2016-2017].This consultation gathered views on the Scottish Government's vision and high-level principles for the expansion as well as the key policy choices that had to be made. It included questions on ensuring equality of access. This consultation received 336 written responses. In addition, a series of consultative events were held across Scotland to raise awareness of the consultation and to seek views of parents directly.
- Early Learning and Childcare Service Models consultation . This consultation gathered views on the proposed range of criteria that would form the National Standard underpinning the new 'Funding Follows the Child' approach to ELC service provision. This consultation was run jointly with COSLA. This consultation received 219 written responses. In addition to the online consultation, the Scottish Government held a total of eight consultation events in different locations. Most attendees at the events were ELC providers.
Key Findings – General
There are a number of challenges to ensure everyone wishing to pursue a career in ELC is, and feels, freely able to do so. There are long standing societal perceptions and attitudes around, for example, men working in ELC which will take considerable effort to overcome. These are attitudes and perceptions which are not connected only to ELC and therefore will require time and commitment to shift. The Scottish Government is committed to effecting such change, and increasing numbers of males working in ELC. This would help considerably in normalising such roles for men and contribute to changing societal attitudes over time.
Our national recruitment campaign is encouraging people to pursue a career in ELC and we are working with partners to reach underrepresented groups. For example, the Council for Ethnic Minority Voluntary Organisations (CEMVO) are reaching out to people from EM backgrounds to make them aware of employment and training opportunities.
We view this EQIA as a live document and will revisit it as our work progresses. We have commissioned SDS to carry out a piece of research into barriers facing those who wish to join the sector. As well as protected characteristics, this work will look at issues such as rurality as a barrier to training or employment. We expect the final version of that report to make a number of recommendations which we may reflect in this EQIA.
Similarly, we have commissioned a piece of research to consider the interactions of local and national labour markets on the social care sector, including ELC. We will consider any findings of this research that may have implications for equality of the workforce in ongoing equality impact assessment activity. We are enacting a new census process which will collect information on gender and ethnicity of the workforce and therefore improve our ability to monitor the diversity of the workforce.
Public perceptions of working in the ELC sector
We have looked at the protected characteristics and what we know about each of these, as well as barriers to joining the sector which do not relate specifically to a protected characteristic, but which are general to the population.
Our research to inform our national recruitment campaign provided some insight into people's perceptions of working in ELC. Although people recognise the joy that can come from working with children, the research found other perceptions, including that that pay can be poor, perceptions that career pathways are limited, and perceptions that working in ELC is only about play, rather than play-based learning that contributes to lifelong skills.
Scottish Government actions related to the expansion are intended to address some of these perceptions. Our multi-year funding agreement with COSLA will enable all ELC workers delivering the funded entitlement to be paid at least the real Living Wage from 2020. In addition, we are providing targeted advice and support to providers to help them to implement Fair Work practices and to deliver the real Living Wage commitment.
We have worked with the SSSC and a range of stakeholders to develop career pathways and articulate those clearly to potential recruits. An online tool demonstrating the various roles in ELC and the career paths available is live on the SSSC website and our recruitment campaign website: http://learn.sssc.uk.com/childcarecareers/#get-started
The national recruitment campaign also aims to directly address perceptions found in the market research. Campaign messaging to highlight the role of play based learning in developing lifelong skills were developed, as below.
You won't just be glitter painting, you'll be helping their futures shine
You won't just be making dens, you'll be helping their brains make millions of connections
You won't just be building sandcastles, you'll be building futures
There are multiple strands to the recruitment campaign, in local press, national TV advertising, and other PR work has focussed on what it takes to be an ELC practitioner, the challenges faced and the joy and fulfilment such a role can bring. The recruitment campaign has also developed relatable real life case studies, often and deliberately from people with protected characteristics underrepresented in the current ELC workforce.
The broad aim of the campaign, and other strands of activity to expand and develop the ELC workforce, includes contributing to a longer term change in perceptions from the general public toward a greater understanding of the professionalism of the workforce, the nuanced ways in which they support children's learning and development, and to challenge incorrect perceptions for those who may be open to considering a role in ELC.
These are some of the strands of work we are pursuing to shift perceptions of ELC in the minds of the general population as well as making it a more attractive career option. We have also looked at the protected characteristics and whether there are particular barriers for anyone who has one or more of these characteristics.
Providing relevant and timely information on careers in ELC
SG and partners are taking a co-ordinated approach to workforce expansion and development efforts as evidenced by the ELC Skills Investment Plan, developed by and for the sector. Evidence tells us that any efforts undertaken in isolation are likely to be unsuccessful, hence the recruitment campaign is designed to be utilised by the full range of stakeholders for maximum impact. The campaign provides a wealth of advice on careers in ELC and deliberately includes male case studies to ensure relevance for that part of the audience.
Over 10,000 people registered their interest in hearing more about career opportunities in ELC in Scotland following the first waves of the campaign. The campaign directs to the childcarecareersscotland.scot website which is full of information and resources and live jobs links from myjobsscotland (the national shared recruitment portal for Scotland's 32 Local Authorities) – so when people register interest, they can immediately see where there are opportunities local to them.
We are also working with colleagues at SDS to ensure careers advice officers have the full suite of background information to be able to provide accurate careers advice to young people, including males who are interested in the various routes to employment in ELC including college courses and work-based training.
Local authorities are also providing advice on pathways in to ELC for males. For example, Glasgow City Council's 'Approved by Dads' scheme sees ELC practitioners providing advice and information to fathers at the nursery gate and offers taster sessions to encourage their interest in an ELC role.
We have provided funding of £50,000 to West Lothian College and University of the Highlands and Islands Inverness College to investigate innovative ways of recruiting and retaining more males on to ELC training courses in the college sector. These pilots will run until November 2019, and we will work with the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) to promote and disseminate the learning to colleges, training providers and ELC employers thereafter.
We are also looking at how to enhance the way the sector can recognise prior learning including experience and qualifications from out with Scotland and the UK as well as, recognising relevant experience and qualifications from other sectors for potential career changers. We expect this to benefit those who wish to access an ELC career from other countries (providing further cultural diversity and EM representation – see section on Race) and potentially older practitioners who are career changers (see section on Age).
Ensuring access to training, learning and qualifications
We are working with colleges, universities and training providers, who provide ELC qualification courses, to support their marketing activities and to broaden their reach to diverse groups of the population.
We know that CPL opportunities across Scotland are not as comprehensive as they could be – both in terms of accessibility and content – and that addressing these gaps could make an important contribution to improving outcomes for children. Accessibility is hindered by: the challenge of fitting courses around commitments in the working day; employers being willing and able to fund staff to attend; and geographical access, including the time and costs associated with travel to attend courses. This in itself can present a barrier to those seeking to start a career in ELC who live in remote or rural areas with little access to such learning opportunities.
Our online national programme of CPL will be available to all ELC providers and will be centrally coordinated and funded. This package of online modules will be open to all ELC workers – not just those delivering the statutory entitlement – and so will help to drive up quality across the wider sector. The national programme will focus on areas where practice and/or existing opportunities for CPL need to be strengthened, as reflected in Education Scotland and Care Inspectorate inspections. Crucially, it will also seek to address barriers to learning through virtual and distance models, thus encouraging uptake and retention of new and existing staff.
Provision of vocational training courses
The majority of training to join the sector is undertaken via vocational 'on the job', courses and an increasing number of those are undertaken as Modern Apprenticeships (MAs). These are promoted widely by SDS as well as via the national recruitment campaign.
The vocational route is already proving popular at this stage in the workforce expansion. In recognition of the growing popularity of the MA route, SDS have committed, through their Skills Investment Plan for the ELC expansion, to increasing ELC MAs by 10% each year to 2020, subject to employer demand.
MAs are appealing to potential entrants to the sector because they offer "earn as you learn" opportunities. Recent figures from SDS demonstrate that the target set out in the Skills Investment Plan is being exceeded - numbers of ELC MAs increased by 21% in 2017-18 compared with 2016-17, and by around 24% in 2018-19 compared to 2017-18 - at 2,102 apprenticeships.
The 2018/19 SDS figures on MAs also contain some signs that this route is beginning to help diversify the workforce, with male starts to ELC frameworks in 2018/19 the highest recorded in the last five years. 7% of those undertaking the MA in ELC in 2018/19 were male (compared to 2% of the overall current workforce).
Low Pay in the sector being an issue for recruiting males
The Scottish Government and COSLA have agreed a multi-year funding package to deliver the expansion. This will enable the payment of sustainable rates to funded providers delivering the entitlement – including funding to enable payment of at least the real Living Wage to all childcare workers delivering the funded entitlement.
Key Findings by Characteristic
Characteristic – Sex
The most significantly underrepresented group in the ELC workforce is males, making up only 2% of the current workforce, compared to 48% of the population in Scotland.
Through our work to develop a national recruitment campaign we know there are some challenging societal perceptions of men working in ELC. The most common of these is that ELC is a role for women. In engaging with a range of settings and staff to develop our national recruitment campaign, research also found some examples of parents who were unused to, and had some concerns about, males in caring roles in ELC settings.
The under-representation of males in ELC workforces is found in other countries.
A UK Department for Education funded project by the Fatherhood Institute to support local recruitment of more males in to ELC produced a report in 2015. It found some of the key barriers for male participation in ELC workforce to be:
- Concerns around the attitudes of colleagues, parents and peers;
- A lack of relevant and timely information on careers in ELC;
- Too few vocational training courses marketed specifically toward men and designed to support them;
- Low pay being an issue for a minority of men.
This broadly accords with what we understand from our research in developing our national recruitment campaign. We are addressing each of these barriers. Actions to address attitudes and gender stereotypes are set out below. Actions to address information on careers in ELC, vocational training courses, and pay have been set out in the section above.
Challenging Gender stereotypes
Concerns around attitudes of colleagues, parents and peers reflect deep seated gender inequalities in society. These can start in early childhood, and there is a focus in promoting gender equal play in ELC which should, in the long term, contribute to a reduction in deep-seated gender stereotypes. For example, the guidance on the National Standard for ELC providers signposts readers to the Care Inspectorate and Zero Tolerance resource to promote gender equal play in ELC. By promoting play in ELC which is gender equal, it is intended there will be lasting positive impacts on equality between sexes and ultimately a reduction in attitudes that certain professions are only for males or females.
In addition, our Early Learning and Childcare National Induction Resource prompts practitioners to consider the importance of gender neutral practice. Gender equality will also be a theme in the new STEM career long professional learning for ELC practitioners, as part of our wider programme to support the expansion of quality experiences for children. The training will be available online by the end of 2019 and will be made available to anyone working in the ELC sector.
To further support this work, we are aiming to build on local good practice. For example, in West Lothian council, schools are engaging with pupils at an early stage of their schooling to raise awareness of careers in ELC, as well as proactively providing experience of care roles to boys to raise awareness of opportunities in ELC as the workforce expands.
Characteristic – Race
The protected characteristic for this equalities group is race. However, where ethnicity is referred to in evidence this is recorded here.
The EQIA on ELC Uptake, Eligibility and Engagement cites some evidence that some EM parents are more comfortable using ELC where there is a mix of cultures and ethnic backgrounds working in the ELC setting. It is therefore important to look at ELC workforce demographic data in comparison to national demographic data.
In Scotland, at least 91% of staff in day care of children and at least 98% of childminding staff are recorded as white; at least 1% of staff working in day care of children are recorded Asian (a figure which has remained stable across previous four years), and less than 1% of staff are recorded as black or mixed race ethnicity staff.
For staff working in the day care of children sector, ethnicity 'unknown' is around 7% meaning that these figures represent a minimum percentage for each ethnic group.
Table 1 shows a breakdown of ethnicity for Scotland from the 2011 Census. When compared to the ELC workforce demographic data, it indicates that a number of EM groups are under-represented in the ELC workforce. The significant proportion of staff identifying as 'unknown' ethnicity however means that the ELC workforce data is not directly comparable to the national population data.
Table 1: Ethnic classifications of Scotland based on the 2011 population census
|Ethnicity||Number of people||Percentage of population|
|Mixed or multiple ethnic groups||19,815||0.4%|
|Caribbean or Black||6,540||0.1%|
We recognise the importance of the ELC workforce reflecting the diversity of Scotland's population. In addition to our ongoing national recruitment campaign, we are actively promoting the diversification of the ELC workforce by funding the CEMVO to promote career opportunities with EM communities.
CEMVO are running events across Scotland to raise awareness of the training and employment opportunities on offer and offer practical advice on next steps in pursuing such opportunities. Through this work CEMVO are helping us better understand the cultural barriers that may prohibit people from certain communities coming forward for employment in ELC. We expect there may be some further, nuanced barriers to employment in specific communities which could benefit from targeted work.
Based on CEMVO's engagement, the most commonly reported barrier for many people from EM backgrounds to joining the workforce, or indeed uptake of ELC entitlement, is not having English as a first language.
We are seeking to address this by gathering a comprehensive list of providers of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses, and how and when they are operated, in order to communicate this to the target audience. We are also exploring the possibility of twin tracking ESOL classes with ELC training to attract more people from our EM communities into training.
It is worth noting that the national recruitment campaign, as with males, is deliberately over representing those from EM groups in all our advertising, relative to their representation within the ELC workforce at present. As with males, this is intended to contribute to normalising the idea of people from EM groups working in the sector. We are hopeful that it will also serve to increase uptake of funded ELC among these communities, as discussed above.
In recognition of the difficulties in recruiting from our EM communities, increased financial contributions, via SDS's MA programme, are available for training providers who recruit and retain people from EM backgrounds.
Characteristic - Disability
SSSC note in their Workforce Report that, as with race and ethnicity, the data on whether workers regard themselves as having a disability is difficult to interpret due to a large proportion of unknown responses in their data collections.
With regard to those with disabilities in the sector, 2% in the Day Care of Children category report as having a disability, with 3% recorded as unknown. The most recent census data, although not an exact comparison, indicates that 35% of Scottish households have one or more people with a long term health problem or disability. This would indicate there is clear scope to increase the representation of people with a disability in the ELC workforce.
There are strong local examples of deliberate efforts to extend job opportunities arising in ELC to people with disabilities. For example, as part of their business planning for the upcoming expansion, North Lanarkshire Council have set aside a number of positions specifically for people with disabilities. By providing a range of appropriate support and work experience to a number of potential candidates with disabilities, the local authority builds a pool of candidates able to step in to ELC roles. This was achieved through a concerted and coordinated effort within the local authority to engage with employability services, training providers and employers. We will facilitate the sharing of this best practice across local authorities as they increase momentum in their recruitment efforts in the build up to August 2020.
We are hopeful that the research project looking at interactions of local and national labour markets on the social care sector, mentioned earlier in this document, may also provide us with information on those in the sector who joined because they view it as a role predominantly requiring practical skills. The reason this is explored as part of the research project is anecdotal evidence from Dyslexia Scotland, with whom we have spoken in gathering evidence for this EQIA.
A disability can cover a very wide range of conditions and each candidate must be considered individually. This relies on good HR and recruitment practices at a local level and we will continue to share good practice in this regard.
Protected Characteristic – Age
SSSC workforce data for 2017 indicates the median age in the Daycare of Children services category is 36, with notable differences in median age between different employment sectors (public – median age 43; private – median age 28; voluntary – median age 36). Figure 2 below illustrated the age profiles of the different sub-sectors within the overall Social Service sector, as captured by SSSC workforce data collections. It illustrates that the DayCare of Children sub-sector has a relatively young age profile, in comparison with other sub-sectors.
Figure 2: Histograms of the age of the workforce
Scottish Social Service Sector: Report on 2017 Workforce Data https://data.sssc.uk.com/images/WDR/WDR2017.pdf
Teachers comprise a relatively small proportion of the ELC workforce, with 1,527 General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS) registered teachers working in settings delivering funded ELC in 2018. The ELC census provides information on the age and gender characteristics of this portion of the workforce. Nearly two-thirds of teachers were aged between 35 and 54, while 17% were aged under 34 and 19% were aged over 55 in 2018. The proportion of teachers who are male is slightly higher than the overall ELC workforce, standing at 6% in 2018.
The Scottish Government's teacher recruitment campaign is aimed at attracting undergraduates and career changers to complete a Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) by changing perceptions of teaching. As part of the campaign we have a commitment to promote diversity in the workforce by targeting those groups under-represented in teaching (men in primary and ethnic minority groups).
Data gathered for the ELC Skills Investment Plan published by SDS in January 2018 showed that almost three quarters (73%) of those enrolling for ELC provision in colleges in 2014/15 were aged under 25. For MAs, in 2017/18, over-25s made up 15% of all the total MA statistics.
Given the relatively young age profile overall of the Daycare of Children Services category, and the unsurprising predominance of younger age groups in training pipelines, Scottish Government and partners have deliberately targeted older age groups in various workforce expansion activities.
For example, career changers aged over 22 are one of the key target audiences for the national recruitment campaign, which launched in October 2017 and has included dedicated bursts of activity for the older target audience in May 2018, January 2019 and June 2019.
Scottish Government has also worked with SDS to incentivise the training of greater numbers of those aged over 25 through the MA route through raising the contribution rate paid by SDS to MA training providers from £700 to £1,700 per apprentice from April 2018.
SDS published MA statistics for 2018-19 on 11 June 2019, which showed a 46% increase in numbers of MA starts on the Social Services (Children and Young People) MA programme for the over-25s Framework compared with 2017-18, as set out below.
Modern Apprenticeship Starts, 25+: 2017-18
|Social Services (Children and Young People)||162||14||176|
|Social Services (Children and Young People) Technical Apprenticeship||*||*||82|
Modern Apprenticeship Starts 25+: 2018-19
|Social Services (Children and Young People)||369||57||426|
|Social Services (Children and Young People) Technical Apprenticeship||122||12||134|
We will continue to work with SDS to explore what further can be done to encourage more people from the over-25 age category to enter the ELC workforce in the context of ongoing activity to create the conditions for the ELC workforce expansion, and to monitor numbers enrolling on the over-25s MA framework.
Recommendations and Conclusions
This EQIA process did not identify any direct or indirect unlawful discrimination through the ELC expansion and our efforts to recruit up to 11,000 additional ELC professionals. In addition, this process identified a number of areas where the expansion in workforce capacity can help to advance equality of opportunity for anyone with a protected characteristic and promote good relations between those with and those without a protected characteristic. The expansion programme is supported by a benefits realisation strategy and the SSELC which will evaluate the long term impact of the expansion.
We recognise that there are challenges involved in implementing the expansion to 1140 hours, not least of which is recruitment on an unprecedented scale for the sector. The Scottish Government and COSLA have developed robust joint governance arrangements to monitor progress and ensure that local authorities and providers are supported to put in place the required capacity and capability to provide 1140 hours of high quality ELC to all eligible children from August 2020.
How well the expansion of funded ELC helps to 'eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and promote good relations for those with a protected characteristic' who wish to join the sector, will be particularly influenced by local implementation by local authorities and their funded partners. While national policy is intended to promote and facilitate this, it is local authorities and their partners that will be recruiting for their local services and so it is important that they also give due consideration to their duties under the Equality Act 2010.
We will use platforms to share good practice on inclusion such as the Scottish Government Knowledge Hub, the Care Inspectorate, and Education Scotland websites to ensure as wide a reach as possible in the ELC sector on how in the delivery of the ELC expansion, national and local government can meet the duties of the Equality Act 2010.
Going forward, with one year to go, we will be focusing on how to best support the development of the new workforce as well as supporting the existing workforce to coach and mentor new recruits. We will continue to support the workforce to obtain their relevant qualifications to progress their careers in ELC. Our work to recognise prior learning and to develop CPL is part of this support package. We will continue to work closely with training providers and higher education institutions to address barriers and ensure the recruitment of a diverse workforce.
The Scottish Government will continue to engage closely with stakeholders and local authorities to ensure that equalities issues are considered during the lifetime of this programme.
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