Planning workforce development across the health and social care services for older people presents a formidable challenge. In England, Workforce Development Confederations are responsible for commissioning the education and training of the current and future health and social care workforce. This article reports on an analysis of local issues in planning the workforce for older people's services undertaken in one Confederation. It reports on the perceived priorities for developing the workforce in older peoples services in a policy environment where multiple initiatives were competing for attention. It highlights the key challenges in planning a strategy that embraces numerous service and education providers and offers practical solutions. Although this analysis was in one Confederation, the issues raised have relevance for other Confederations and their education and service partner organisations.