Thursday, 23 June 2022
Department of Health
Home Help Service
411. To ask the Minister for Health if he supports the inclusion of home-help workers on the critical skills occupations list; if he has engaged with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment on this issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33342/22]
I have established a cross-departmental Strategic Workforce Advisory Group to examine factors affecting the care sector workforce.
The structure and membership of the Strategic Workforce Advisory Group was informed by submissions received by my Department from key stakeholders in January 2022 as well as by a short-life scoping exercise to gather initial data and evidence on the extent of the challenges in the sector. Following this, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment was invited to participate in the Group's work. The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment accepted the invitation and became an active participant in this process.
At the inaugural meeting of the Group, which was held on 3rd March 2022, the Group's terms of reference and action-timelines were agreed. The terms of reference are available on the Department's website. Areas being considered by the Group include the recruitment, retention, training, pay and conditions, and the career development of front-line carers in home-support and nursing homes.
The Group is currently working with key sectoral stakeholders to further explore and define the issues arising and will submit a report for my consideration by September 2022. The report will outline the Group's key findings and recommendations as well as an action plan for the recommendations' implementation.