A leading disabled charity has launched a new Modern Apprenticeship scheme in a bid to stave-off skills shortages in the care sector.
Leonard Cheshire, which provides care support for more than 19,000 disabled people across the UK, is hoping the scheme will help recruit and retain more staff.
The launch marks the introduction of the first apprenticeship scheme in the disability care sector. It offers a professional qualification for care workers and management opportunities.
Clare Smith, HR director at Leonard Cheshire, said she wants the initiative to attract school leavers looking for a rewarding career. "This really is an exciting scheme and it's a first for us.
"It gives young people the chance to embark on a rewarding career while gaining recognised qualifications on the job."
Candidates on the apprenticeship scheme will gain qualifications as they work and need no prior experience of care work to obtain a place.
Smith hopes the scheme will ensure a healthy future workforce and help avoid the shortfall of skilled staff which currently plagues the sector.
She added: "It means that in the future we will have fully-trained managers and the potential to retain more of our staff.
"We're really looking forward to working with school leavers across the UK."