I think I've just invented a word. It's not the first time for that, nor shall it be the last. Downskilling is a trend I've noticed with little proof other than a hunch. Within the healthcare and residential care sector, I've noticed nursing positions that were once deemed to require candidates with a certain set of credentials has now been given some slack to include those one or two rungs down the ladder. For example, Registered Nurses (RNs) are being replaced by Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs). RPNs are being replaced by Personal Support Workers (PSWs), etc.
The other day I received the proof I need from a friend who boldly announced via his Facebook status that he was removing the City of Thunder Bay from his Christmas card list because they were doing just this very thing with their City-run long term care facilities. http://www.tbnewswatch.com/news/Default.aspx?cid=7892
You don't have to be a healthcare insider to know that funders are tightening the purse strings, expecting more from less, and want lots of positive 'outcomes' for clients. Maybe I'm blind to it all, but I really don't think so. I just don't see how this is going to benefit either care recipients or their providers.
P.S. Apparently I did NOT invent the word downskilling. Here's the official definition: Downskilling© refers to a process of reducing the talent or skill level of a position, job, or vocation primarily for the purpose of decreasing short-term cost (see this guy for more info http://pswisdom.com/?p=514 )