Care for Life will provide training and on the job experience for anyone over 16 who wants to get into a career in caring, and apprentices will also receive a wage while they learn.
There is a widely recognised need for more people to work in adult social care, and this new apprenticeship programme aims to produce a pipeline of skilled and motivated care workers.
There will be opportunities right across the county, with 30 places available this year in the first cohort.
In Northumberland there are around 9,400 jobs in adult social care, with 950 vacancies open at any one time. The current workforce has an older profile - with the majority female and the average age 46. As the number of residents over 65 also increases it is estimated that the number of jobs in social care will increase by around 33% in the next 15 years.
Cath McEvoy-Carr, executive director of adult social care and children's services, said: “This new programme will give apprentices a fantastic range of experience and knowledge of the social care sector in Northumberland.
“We want to drive recruitment numbers across Northumberland, redress the demographic of social care workers, produce a ‘talent pipeline’ of skilled and motivated people and help produce leaders of the future.
As well as the council, independent and private sector care providers will be involved in the programme, with placements both in-house at the local authority and in the independent and voluntary sector.
Apprentices will learn about all aspects of social care services - including residential, learning and physical disability, re-enablement and personal independence, ‘shared lives’ and short term support services.
The council is running Care for Life information events across the county, where carers and managers will help answer questions.
The team will be at: Alnwick Learning Centre on the 23 July; Queen’s Hall Hexham on the 24 July; and Concordia Leisure Centre in Cramlington on the 25 July.
The sessions will run from 10am to 12 noon, and 1pm to 3pm, with group talks by people in caring careers at 11am and 2pm.
More information at www.careforlife.org.uk or phone 01670 622104.