Nursery Trainee Employment Programme Launches in Scotland

Childcare Works, a programme enabling people to become Trainee Support Workers (TSWs) by offering bespoke introductory childcare training has launched in Scotland.

Addressing the Scottish Government’s ambition of ‘No One Left Behind’, the Childcare Works project is funded by East Ayrshire Local Employability Partnership. The programme will commence 11 March and complete 28 June 2024 to deliver one-to-one coaching to eight trainee support workers aged 17 or over. 

National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) Scotland will be supporting participants across East Ayrshire, who are not in education or employment by creating a training pathway to a career in early learning and childcare.  Previous experience of working in a childcare environment is not required as candidates are identified based on aptitude, informal experience of childcare and a willingness to undertake training.  

NDNA’s Childcare Works project has been implemented successfully in Wales for over five years. Since 2019 the project has supported and mentored 189 individuals, with 106 going on to secure employment and further qualifications. 

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) Scotland said: “We are delighted that East Ayrshire will be the first area in Scotland to have a Childcare Works project thanks to the support of the local council.

“The sector is currently facing a workforce crisis and the need for it to grow with experienced, professional staff to deliver the high-quality early learning and childcare that our youngest children need and deserve is more important than ever.

“This project encourages people who might have never considered a career in the early years sector to benefit from a supported, practical placement and training pathway to becoming a nursery assistant. We want to work with participants to give them the opportunity to develop their skills and then put these into practice with rewarding work placements. 

“We are looking for nurseries across East Ayrshire who are interested in a recruitment opportunity and can offer a 12-week placement. With the right support and training, Childcare Works candidates can make a valuable contribution to a setting and most importantly to our children.”

The 12-week placement is a cost-effective way for an early years provider to develop new talent and the opportunity to create a more diverse workforce including people from different backgrounds with varying levels of experience. To qualify to be a provider placement setting for the Childcare Works programme, a setting must be able to provide a suitable job role for a candidate for 12 weeks.

Childcare Works is a 16-week programme focusing on practical skills and placement experience which includes support and mentoring by NDNA. The aim is to provide the right level of support to the candidate from start to finish and achieve a positive employment outcome. TSWs are employed for 16 hours a week on their age-related minimum wage.

TSWs complete a four-week NDNA training programme followed by a 12-week training placement in an early-years setting. The first four weeks focuses on the specific skills and knowledge that a TSW requires to be able to start working in a setting.

Training is delivered by NDNA remotely via live virtual classrooms and courses include Child Centred Approaches, Promoting Positive Behaviour and Equality and Diversity.  In addition, NDNA work with external training providers to deliver mandatory courses on Introduction to Child Protection and Paediatric First Aid. 

Engaging with the local community, NDNA sources candidates and advertises at recruitment partner organisations including local authority employment programmes, job centres and adult learning programmes.

NDNA manage the recruitment process including advertising vacancies, shortlisting candidates, interviewing candidates, and arranging placements with partner settings, making sure both parties are a good fit.

NDNA provides a mentoring and support role throughout the recruitment process including help with application forms, right to work documents and Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) applications which NDNA manages and pays for. TSWs are also provided with financial support for a work placement uniform, travel costs during the training period and support with care for dependents during the initial stages of the programme.

For more information contact: [email protected] or call 01824 730543.   

  • Scotland

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