Find out about the Real Start scheme, how to apply for an apprenticeship and the types of roles available.

The Real Start apprenticeship scheme

The Real Start apprenticeship scheme supports people as they start an exciting and rewarding career with North Yorkshire County Council. We have a proven track record of employing apprentices and continue to positively promote opportunities and support young people into employment. Given the diversity of the services we deliver, we have a vast range of career pathways to offer. An apprenticeship can be the first part of that journey.

Completing an apprenticeship will give you valuable work experience, develop your skills and give you an understanding of the council and its services. This will provide a solid foundation to advance your career, whichever direction you may take in the future.

Apply to the talent pool

No specific qualifications are needed. After completing an application form you will be considered for vacancies based on your skills and experience, so it is important that you complete the application form with as much information as possible. You will also be supported in gaining functional skills in numeracy and literacy if you do not already hold this, which is another great opportunity.

Apprenticeship opportunities arise regularly. To apply for these vacancies, you need to submit an application to the Real Start apprenticeship talent pool.

Apply to talent pool

You can apply at any time, even if there is not a specific vacancy available.

Further information

Please refer to the  application guidance notes (pdf / 198 KB) before completing your application. You may find it useful to print them off or have them to hand when completing the form. If you click on the 'i' icons within the application form, this will display information to help you.

You will be asked to select your preferences for the type of roles you would like to do and where you would like to work. After applying, you will be emailed details of vacancies that become available and may be of interest to you.

You only need to apply to the talent pool once. We recommend that you check your email regularly to ensure you receive updates about vacancies.

Put as much information as possible in your application, particularly the supporting evidence section. If you wish to be considered for a post, your application will be sent to the recruiting manager, who will decide whether to interview you based on the information on your form. Therefore, it is important to make a good impression and to include as much as possible about your skills and experiences.

We'll keep in touch with you and offer guidance to help you to improve or update your form. If you need to change or add to your form, contact us and we'll help.

If you have difficulty accessing the Real Start talent pool or need help completing the application, please email:

Employability sessions provide all the information you need about apprenticeships with North Yorkshire County Council.

They are useful whether you just want to find out more or would like help to submit an effective application. The sessions are informative but informal.

Most sessions include an overview of the Real Start apprenticeship programme and the types of vacancies available. The sessions provide guidance to help you to write an effective job application and provide tips to help you to prepare for an interview. There is also a chance to ask questions.

Sessions are held regularly across the county. If you would like to attend the next session, email

All apprentices undertake an apprenticeship qualification. This will be provided in the workplace. There is no guarantee of a permanent job on completion of an apprenticeship. However, most apprenticeships are held against established positions, so there may be an opportunity to move into the role. There may also be other roles within the organisation which you could apply for and the skills and experience developed through the apprenticeship will put you in a better position to gain further employment.

An apprenticeship can help you to develop valuable transferable skills, including:

  • ICT (use of spreadsheets and electronic systems);
  • customer service;
  • communication;
  • presentation;
  • organising;
  • prioritising and delegating;
  • attention to detail/accuracy;
  • problem solving;
  • working to targets/deadlines; and
  • team working.

Most of our apprenticeships last for 12 months unless explained otherwise at interview. If the apprenticeship is within a school and working term-time only, it is likely the apprenticeship will be longer, which would be confirmed to you.

As an apprentice, you will receive the equivalent of £129.50 a week (£3.50 per hour) for the first six months. The great thing about our apprenticeships is you have the opportunity to progress at six months, subject to satisfactory performance, and receive the equivalent of £173.48 a week (£4.69 per hour). This is above the National Minimum Wage for apprentices and really demonstrates the high regard we hold apprenticeships in.

If you demonstrate exceptional performance, there may be the opportunity to move to the full salary for the post during the apprenticeship. This would be determined following a review by your manager after at least three months in the post. In these circumstances, you would still be able to continue with the qualification and training elements of the scheme.

We appreciate that travel costs can be expensive, particularly on an apprenticeship salary. Therefore to help with this, there is support available to contribute towards travel costs. To qualify for the home to work travel support, you must be:

  • Living more than five miles from the regular place of work where the cost of such travel is over £10 per week;
  • In the first six months of the apprenticeship programme - beyond this point you would not be eligible for this scheme, due to the pay progression;
  • In receipt of the apprentice pay scale; and
  • Able to provide receipts for the cost of travel incurred.

Further information about this is available upon request.

Types of apprenticeships

There are a number of apprenticeship opportunities across a range of subjects and services:

An apprenticeship in business administration is an ideal foundation to your career because the role enables you to develop a variety of transferable skills.

Whether you would like to progress into a career in business support or business management, this apprenticeship can help you to build your experience.

Most administration roles involve working in an office and regularly using ICT, for example to record and store data and produce letters, meeting minutes and notes. You would also be likely to deal with the post, respond to email and telephone enquiries and organise meetings.

You would also undertake tasks specific to the service. For example:

An administration assistant based in highways would learn about winter gritting routines and which routes are to receive maintenance, such as resurfacing. This role would be an ideal foundation for someone wanting to become a surveyor or highways technical assistant.

An administration assistant based in a children's centre would learn about child protection. They would meet and greet families using the centre and interact with parents and children. This would be an ideal foundation for someone wanting a job as a family support worker or a children's social worker.

Alternatively, you may wish to work as a personal assistant or a secretary. This apprenticeship will give you a broad range of skills to help you advance your career.

The majority of apprenticeship roles in schools are in secondary schools. Various roles are available:

Science technician apprentice

As a science technician apprentice you would maintain and prepare resources for students to use in science lessons. You would plan for the lessons ahead, ensuring relevant resources were stored safely and helping with orders when stocks became low. This role would suit someone who is organised and has a keen interest in science.

ICT technician apprentice

An ICT technician apprentice would learn how to set up and install basic computer systems and programs and resolve simple ICT errors on school systems. In a busy school, it may be necessary to identify and resolve ICT errors quickly to ensure classes can proceed. An ICT apprenticeship would suit someone who is interested in ICT and has a basic understanding of programs and systems.

Teaching assistant apprentice

A teaching assistant supports teaching and learning in a school. An apprentice teaching assistant would help to set up resources for lessons and help children with activities, such as listening to them read or helping them to write or spell. You may also carry out playground duty at break time and lunchtime and ensure that children carry out activities safely.

Business administration apprentice

As a business administration apprentice in a school you would undertake exactly the same qualification as a business administration apprentice anywhere else. However, a school would be busy and it is likely you would gain experience of working with different people, including students and teachers. This would be an ideal opportunity if you want to pursue a career in teaching or as a teaching assistant.

As an apprentice working in health and social care you would be responsible for the care and welfare of elderly and/or vulnerable adults (service users).

This might be in an elderly person's care home, a day centre for adults with learning disabilities or visiting elderly or infirm people in their homes.

The role would involve helping people to maintain their dignity and independence. It is likely you would talk to service users, help to serve refreshments, help them to dress and get ready for the day, assist at meal times, run activities and games and help people with mobility problems to move about. As you progressed in the role, you would provide personal care, help people to wash and bathe and issue medication.

An apprenticeship in health and social care would be a solid base for careers such as social care assessor or co-ordinator. It would provide excellent experience to go on to train as a social worker or for a role in the medical profession.

As an ICT apprentice you would be responsible for setting up and installing PCs and basic programs or helping employees to identify and resolve basic ICT faults.

In some roles you may help employees to resolve common ICT faults over the phone, so you would need to enjoy interacting with others.

The majority of ICT apprenticeships are based at the county councils headquarters, County Hall in Northallerton. Other ICT apprenticeships may be available in schools. See the section "Working in schools".

Catering roles are available in schools and establishments that provide care for the elderly. Roles include general kitchen assistants and assistant cooks.

As an apprentice in one of these roles you would help with food preparation, such as peeling vegetables, creating salads and making pastry or desserts. You would undertake an apprenticeship in hospitality and catering, which would be an ideal foundation for a career as a cook, chef or caterer.

Cleaning and domestic assistant roles are available in a range of county council premises, including offices, libraries, elderly person's homes to schools.

As an apprentice, you would undertake a qualification in cleaning and support services, learning the fundamentals of safe and effective cleaning practices and techniques.

Completion of an apprenticeship in cleaning and support services would be ideal experience if you wanted to progress into a role as a cleaning services manager, a caretaker or handyperson. It would also provide relevant skills and experience should you wish to move into hospitality or catering.

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