Meetings, mergers and a new training allowance for carers

I was back in the hallowed corridors of power last Monday evening for a joint meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) for Children; Autism; Disability Carers, and Learning Disability. The focus was to be disabled children and young people, and their families. Unfortunately, the door at the end of the hallowed corridor had some bad news for me – it held a bit of paper telling me it had been cancelled.

APPGs contain a mixture of MPs and peers who have a specific interest in a certain issue. They do not have any power but can help raise awareness within Parliament through publications of reports or research, and can influence debates or sometimes move the issue higher up the agenda.

APPGs are rather plentiful with there being an APPG on a huge array of issues and for every country that a geographer could name. I harbour a suspicion that some even serve a social function like the APPG for Golf. The APPG for carers is due to meet early July so expect a blog after that.

Meanwhile, I was meeting with the Dept for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) yesterday. BIS was a merger of two departments that were axed in the recent reshuffle – it’s not just ministers that can get moved, whole departments can too!

BIS are going to pilot a £500 training allowance for carers who want to return to work. Learning and Skills Councils (LSCs) in the SW and NE area will run the pilots and hope to begin in Nov 2009. Carers will not receive the money; rather the provider requests the LSC to pay the course fee (up to £500).

Carers aged 19+ who have been caring for more than 5 years and more than 20 hours p/w will be eligible. They think it will be up to carers themselves to declare whether they meet this, although they are thinking of asking for a health or social care professional to verify this. Some carers will laugh that professionals often ignorant of the carer will be in a place to confirm the extent of their caring role.

Take Care


June 19, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] my fourth ever blog, I recounted how I had arrived for a meeting at Parliament to find a note on the door at the end of […]

    Pingback by The thread that connects carers, ex-carers and their supporters « CarersBlog | January 24, 2012 | Reply

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