North Yorkshire County Council recruits dozens of care workers but warns of ongoing crisis in the sector

A senior councillor has warned of the “considerable pressures” which the care sector is facing in North Yorkshire despite a major recruitment campaign leading to scores of new recruits joining the profession.

North Yorkshire County Council has launched a drive to sign up new workers which has seen nearly 1,000 applications submitted since the initiative was launched in November.

More than 70 new staff have since been appointed to frontline care roles across the county, although the council’s executive member for adult services and health integration, Coun Michael Harrison, admitted more needs to be done to address a critical shortage of workers.

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More than 100 vacancies remain in the council alone, mainly in frontline care roles, with hundreds more positions available in the private sector in North Yorkshire.

Alex Slade is among those who have signed up to the ranks of North Yorkshire’s care workers after leaving a job in retail to join the sector. (Photo: North Yorkshire County Council)

Coun Harrison said: “Over 70 new recruits are a really welcome addition, but the sector continues to face considerable pressures with vacancies in many areas across both the private sector and the council itself.

“These pressures are reflected nationally and have impacted on the flow out of hospitals of people who may be medically fit for discharge but who cannot be discharged without access to care.

“I would like to acknowledge the work of the teams over what has been a most challenging winter to date – both within the council and across 500 care providers.”

Prior to the Make Care Matter recruitment campaign, there had been a 70 per cent fall in applications for roles overseen by the county council.

There has also been a general shift away from the demanding profession as workers seek higher paid work to counter the cost of living crisis.

Someone embarking on a career in caring can expect to earn the National Minimum Wage, which currently stands at £8.91 for anyone aged 23 and over.

The county council has joined forces with the NHS to make a one-off £300 pay bonus to North Yorkshire’s 16,000 frontline care workers, which is being paid between now and March.

Television adverts which have been broadcast since January have sparked further interest and applications.

Among those who have signed up to the ranks of North Yorkshire’s care workers is Alex Slade, who left a job in retail to join the sector.

In addition to her work with the north Harrogate care team helping those who have been in hospital to live back in the community, she is spending a day each week studying for her level three qualification in health and social care.

The 29-year-old said: “It is lovely to help people become independent again and I find it very rewarding.”