How can early year’s apprentices benefit your setting?
Apprenticeships are becoming a more popular choice both for school leavers and for early year’s providers. Many school leavers find the prospect of earning and learning very appealing and for this reason, choose to find a setting who will take on an apprentice rather than applying for a place at the college.
Early year’s apprentices are on a lower wage than standard practitioners as it is understood that they are receiving training whilst completing their course. Often apprentices will be able to gain a job position at the end of the course with a higher rate of pay. Some apprentices will complete all of their qualifications through work-based training schemes, and others may choose to complete their qualification through attending college once or twice a week and work for the other remaining days in the week.
Many early years’ providers were once under the impression you get what you pay for and that apprentices had a poor work quality, and there were very few benefits other than cheap labour. However, this is no longer the case, and many providers are now seeing the great benefits of having apprentices in the setting. Others also felt that without a large organisation to create training programmes, offer mentors and have a clear plan for apprentices they had a little offer. This is not entirely true and the smallest of early year’s settings have a lot to offer an apprentice and a lot to gain from employing one.
What are the benefits for early year’s providers?
There are many benefits for early year’s providers, practitioners, children and parents of a setting having an apprentice. Some of this include:
- New talents – Many young people are incredibly talented and have a lot to offer a setting. They may simply be talented with children, using technology, arts, and crafts, sports, music or dance. Many of these talents can be highly beneficial when shared with the children and can encourage development across the board.
- Current – As apprentices are studying as they work it means they are learning the most up to date legislation, policy ideas, theories, and practice.
- Ethos – As you are responsible for ensuring your apprentices learn the best possible practice you can train them to follow and understand the ethos of your setting fully. If you have a specific area or role you, need filling you can train apprentices to fill this area.
- Funding – Often there is an amount of money available for early years providers who take on apprentices
- Loyalty – Creating high morale from the start, valuing your apprentices, treating them with equality, making them part of the team and training them highly often creates loyal practitioners. This is turn helps to keep staff turnover lower.
There are many benefits to having apprentices within the early year’s workplace and there are plenty of young people waiting for employers to give them the opportunity to thrive and achieve great things. Apprentices would work particularly well in a setting full of strong practitioners who can mentor and support them along the way. In turn, apprentices will become strong, confident members of the team