A SCHEME to help fill a number of adult and social care vacancies has proved a success according to its apprentices.

North Yorkshire County Council recently developed its apprenticeships for new, and existing staff members, to work in the care sector.

It is claimed that there are over 200,000 vacancies in social care nationally.

Joss Harbron head of provider services for adult and social care at North Yorkshire County Council said: “We wanted to attract people to vacant posts in care – there are care vacancies that need filling and we wanted to attract the right people.”

Ms Harbron said the apprenticeships were open to everyone.

She said: “The fact that we also take on people with no Maths or English qualifications is a bonus – it really is open to anybody from all ages, and all backgrounds.

“The key thing for me is that we take a value-based approach to recruitment – ‘Is the person understanding, do they understand how we want to support our clients’ independence'."

Ms Harbron said apprentices were paid the 'going staff rate' and not the national apprenticeship wage of £3.70 an hour, for those under 19.

She added: "At the end of the day, they're doing the same work, and are willing to take on additional responsibilities."

The insight into the scheme came as the council revealed it spent around £250m on public health and adult social care per year - money which is partially-raised by a two percent council tax precept.

But for 18-year-old level 2 apprentice Anna Carabine, her 'successful' apprenticeship has helped her decide on a career within the industry.

She said: “I came for work experience for a week, it was quite an experience and I really enjoyed it.

“When the apprenticeship came up, I spoke to my parents and I decided to leave college – I never really knew what I wanted to be and I just loved it.

"I had the interview for the apprenticeship in July and started in September 2017.

“The best thing for me is making someone’s day, supporting people on daily activities – social events like on a morning people come in on a morning for a cup of tea, and also coming up with other ways to get people engaged, that all comes from experience with the apprenticeship."

Existing staff member and apprentice graduate Tracey Vitty, 52, who is now a reablement manager at North Yorkshire County Council said: “You feel proud to be part of a big organisation.

“It opens so many doors, and it gives you an extra boost of confidence - this was my first job after having children.

“I needed something to focus my career on – it was the best thing I’ve ever done.”