Training provider to deliver more than 10,000 early years apprentices

Karen Derbyshire, operations director for early years, Realise

Early years training provider Realise has committed to delivering more than 10,000 newly-qualified apprentices over the next five years to help meet the “seismic” changes facing the sector.

Realise has launched a campaign to promote early years apprenticeships, highlighting the benefits and opportunities available to nurseries and learners.

The apprenticeship schemes will cover Levels 2, 3 and 5 and will be open to people who are over the age of 16 and are either already employed by an early years setting, looking to move out of unemployment into the sector, or interested in changing careers.

Realise’s strategy will include attracting more men to work in early years environments, as only around 2% of the sector workforce are men.

Karen Derbyshire, operations director for early years at Realise, said that nurseries ramping up their apprenticeship provision was the most viable way for settings to cope with the extension of funded places.

“Apprenticeships have always been a vital part of the recruitment and retention strategy of any nursery but now they are more significant than ever with the seismic increase in demand for places on the way,” she said. “The incoming regulations around childcare means attracting new recruits to the industry, as well as  maximising potential and upskilling those already working in early years, has never been more important.”

Angela Southworth, professional development and training lead for nursery group Grandir UK, said: ““At Grandir UK, we currently have more than 180 apprentices on programme. They are critical to our people strategy, which will attract new talent into the early years sector and also provide valuable career progression opportunities for our existing teams. We recognise that our considerable investment in our apprenticeship programmes provides an essential pipeline to grow our skilled and knowledgeable workforce.”

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