Given the growing demand for childcare places, particularly with the increased government-funded hours, now presents the perfect moment to explore the advantages of bringing an apprentice on board. The potential benefits of such a partnership extend to both the apprentice and the employer, making it a mutually enriching experience. Let’s explore why hiring an apprentice makes good sense.
The process of finding an apprentice may seem like a very time-consuming process, with a lot of time being dedicated to training them. No one wants to be bombarded with extra paperwork or to hold someone’s hand whilst they are studying, however, this does not have to be the case at all. If you pick a reputable recruiter and trainer, for example, Parenta, you will receive support for both you and your apprentice right from the beginning. In addition to finding out exactly what your setting’s requirements are, they will have already started the registration process and will only send you the strongest candidates. This cuts out half of the work; so, all you need to do, as the employer is conduct the interview and make that all-important decision. Many childcare professionals will associate apprentices with no experience and needing a whole lot of attention to complete their childcare courses, but it is up to the employer to only choose who they consider suitable for the role.
Nurturing Growth: Supporting Your Apprentice’s Journey
The partnership between the training provider, the learner and the employer is really important. The apprentice will have regular meetings and training with their tutor and for this reason, the employer must ensure their learner is supported, given regular appraisals, and booked onto any core training they need. Of course, this means keeping them up to date with legislation and supporting them in getting to know their workplace inside out. Giving them challenges and more responsibility will give them the confidence they need for inspection or simply to become a room leader.
Another benefit of hiring an apprentice is the lack of financial stress, as the majority of apprenticeships are 95% government-funded. Even though there is usually a minimum set of hours, and off-the-job training to do, the contracted days and times can be tailored to individual setting’s needs. How you teach them within your setting will be your unique learning style, which becomes the foundation of their future.
Feeling empowered is one of the highlights; watching an apprentice grow during their first year, compile a portfolio of certificates, from scratch, and gain invaluable (hands-on) skills needed to work as an early years practitioner. Although it can be challenging knowing that you, the employer, are responsible for them, the challenging aspect is motivating. Making an effort to demonstrate professional role modelling, naturally sets a high standard.
Supporting An Apprentice
The feeling of guiding someone in making their first steps towards a qualification is very rewarding, as is knowing you are part of the reason they are competent. During that process, providing endless support and praise to ensure the apprentice does not lack self-esteem is essential. It helps to put yourself in their shoes; taking yourself back to when you first began training to work in the early years. Mental health and stress can impact on the ability to function, let alone work; for this reason, supporting staff with regular meetings is essential, especially if you want to keep staff long term.
Training An Apprentice
In updating an apprentice on current legislation and refresh training is also a useful reminder for the setting to check theirs. Of course, to train an apprentice to the highest standard and avoid failing an Ofsted inspection, this must be a priority. There is a sense of pressure in training someone that can only result in more professionalism, a positive thing for sure.
Working in the early years requires a range of personality traits, using creativity in different ways and a diverse range of teaching styles; this lesson is a very special one an employer can teach an apprentice. To reassure them that they do not have to fit in, but rather float in their own bubbles for all to admire.
There are so many benefits to hiring an apprentice and they outweigh the hardships!