Abigail Gibson – Harlequin Nursery – March 2022
At my time at Harlequin I have been supported by all, from my transition from High School to an apprenticeship but also every day in the nursery.
When I first started here, I spoke with Management and my Carousel Training Assessor, Annmarie, about my additional support needs. As a trainee with autism, I was worried it would affect my role in the nursery, however management and Annmarie gave me full reassurance that they would help me both adapt and achieve.
The support given to me was regular meetings and catch ups with my boss and depute about how I was coping from day to day. My Assessor would phone the nursery regularly to find out how I was doing, and I knew if I was struggling, I would go to the office and talk to management.
My assessor would come out for a full day session to support me with my written evidence, and she would go over things and help me understand anything I was struggling with.
With the help of management, my senior, colleagues, and my assessor I have managed to adapt to challenging situations, able to reach my full potential and my assessor continues to support me every day. I am now 10 months through my apprenticeship and can’t wait to qualify. This has been possible due to all the support.
Moses Gonani – Nursery Times Paisley – October 2021
Apprentice Moses takes first steps in childcare
Moses Gonani believes his Modern Apprenticeship in childcare has provided him with the perfect pathway to become a primary school teacher.
Born in Zimbabwe, Moses moved to Birmingham when he was seven and, after completing a year in college, the 17-year-old decided to head north to Paisley in August 2020.
When he arrived in Scotland, Moses explored all the options that were available to him and he received some valuable advice from his uncle, who works for Pachedu, which is an organisation that supports ethnic minority groups with employment and other services.
Once equipped with all the information, Moses chose to start an apprenticeship through Carousel Training Centre at Nursery Times in Paisley and he says that has proved to be a sound decision.
Moses said: “I think Scotland is a really good place to live with a lot of opportunities.
“My uncle told me about the benefits of starting an apprenticeship because he does some work with people from Skills Development Scotland.
“I looked at all the options that were available to me and went for an apprenticeship in childcare.”
He added: “I’ve got nieces, nephews and younger cousins and I’ve always enjoyed spending time with them and watching them grow, so that’s what made me want to start a career in childcare.”
Modern Apprentice Moses Gonani
“My message to other men who are thinking about an apprenticeship in childcare is to go for it and not to be put off.”
As a male apprentice in a female-dominated workplace, Moses acknowledges there could have been a few obstacles but he insists everything has gone well – thanks to the support of his colleagues.
Moses said: “I’ve not come across any problems on my apprenticeship because the people I work with are great. They have always made me feel welcome and I’ve never once felt that I shouldn’t be there because I’m a man, which has been really good.
“My message to other men who are thinking about an apprenticeship in childcare is to go for it and not to be put off. Most nursery teachers are female but that shouldn’t put you off because I’ve been accepted and I’m enjoying my experience.”
Moses says the highlight of his 10-month apprenticeship so far was the fact he was given the job – he admits it gave him a huge confidence boost.
Moses said: “Before I started my apprenticeship, I didn’t have much self-confidence and I didn’t think I was capable of doing much, so getting accepted has been the highlight so far.”
Nursery Times manager, Jennifer Clark believes Moses is a natural when it comes to interacting with the children and praised his enthusiasm for the job.
Jennifer said: “Moses is doing really well with us – he’s learning all the time and he’s got a passion for childcare. He’s always keen to learn and his enthusiasm always shines through, especially when he is with the children and providing them with learning experiences.
“Moses is always looking for new challenges to try and he is doing great. Straight away, on his trial day, he got on with the children immediately – he got down to their level and made eye contact with them.
“He made a strong connection with the children and you could see he had that spark that you need to become a practitioner and be able to take on that role. He’s always used his initiative and he supports the children so well on his journey.”
Nursery Times manager Jennifer Clark
“Moses is doing really well with us – he’s learning all the time and he’s got a passion for childcare.”
Jennifer believes apprenticeships are the ideal route to introduce new members of staff, train them and then recruit them on a long-term basis.
She added: “Apprenticeships provide people with valuable hands-on work experience and it allows us to train them up and then keep them on as a qualified staff member.
“Rather than having to advertise externally for people, our apprenticeship programme gives us ready-made staff members, who we know will be an asset to the team.”
Carousel Training Centre works closely with the nursery and other employers in childcare to develop apprentices to meet the needs of the Early Learning and Childcare sector.
Carousel Senior Marketing Officer, Karen Fleming said: “Carousel Training Centre works very closely with employers, building effective partnerships to identify the best and most suitable employees for the Modern Apprenticeship in Social Services (Children and Young People).
“Specialising in Early Learning and Childcare, we adopt a co-ordinated approach to developing the skills and expertise necessary to succeed in this priority sector.”
Karen also had praise for Moses. She said: “Moses’s drive and determination to do well was apparent from the outset. It has been rewarding to work with someone who displays such enthusiasm and motivation and it has been a real pleasure to support him in gaining his SVQ in Social Services (Children and Young People) at SCQF Level 7. We wish him every success in his chosen career.”
In terms of Moses’ career journey, he believes his apprenticeship will support his longer-term objective to become a teacher.
Moses explained: “After my apprenticeship, my aim is to work in childcare full-time and then look at the possibility of becoming a primary school teacher.
“My apprenticeship has been a positive experience for me because I didn’t perform well at secondary school, so I was always worried about the future because of my grades.
“My apprenticeship has given me a route towards where I want to go – I’m learning on the job, gaining qualifications and earning all at the same time.
“When I compared the benefits of an apprenticeship to University, it really stood out as the right choice for me.”
Duncan Greenhorn – Carousel Training Centre – September 2021
Hello, my name is Duncan, and I am a new assessor for Carousel Training Centre. Since secondary school I knew that I wanted to work in the education sector particularly in early years as I had so many family members in the sector, I saw first-hand the positive impact working with children had on them.
I gained my qualification in 2010 and since then I have had the opportunity to work in the local authority sector, the private sector and work in a college teaching play theory to individuals with English as a second language.
Since qualifying I have had the opportunity to work with all age ranges from nursery age to out of school care age. This gave me the confidence to not only better myself, but better my practice. With that in mind I signed up to complete my PDA level 8 in Childcare Practice. After completing my PDA, I then took the next step in my journey and completed my BA in Childhood Practice at the University of Glasgow.
After completing these qualifications, I knew I wanted to remain in the early years sector, but I wanted to support individuals to gain a qualification that can open doors for them.
I then took the leap to join Carousel and was successful in my interview and was offered the job in December. I have now been working for Carousel since January 2021 and I love it.
Being a male in a predominantly female sector I was very nervous to begin my journey however, everyone I have met has been positive and children and parents welcomed me with open arms. My advice for individuals (Particularly males) wishing to pursue a job in nurseries would be to take the leap and go for it 100%.
I look forward to working with some of you.
25th May 2021
Sidrah Rahim – Little Wonders Nursery
Trained by Carousel Training Centre in Mayfield Nursery, Sidrah now works in Little Wonders Nursery as a qualified practitioner.
Liam McColl – Southside Daycare
A young Glasgow male is an “inspirational and positive role model” to the children in the nursery school where he work.
Liam McColl started his Modern Apprenticeship in Childcare last summer and has become part of the close-knit team at Southside Daycare, in Nitshill.
“I have always wanted to work with children and thought about primary school teaching in the future. I went to a school careers fair and spoke with members of the marketing department at Carousel Training Centre who told me about the training opportunities available in the Modern Apprenticeship in Childcare.” said Liam.
The former St Paul’s High School pupil was keen to develop those skills because he has a son, William, who is now three.
“I felt it would help me with my son and I did an induction before being offered a three-month work trial at Southside and then a Modern Apprenticeship.” said Liam.
He feels the best part of his job is seeing the young children in his care progressing and learning.
“I feel I have developed a lot since I have been here and I enjoy coming to work every day. I would say to anyone thinking about an apprenticeship to go for it.” said Liam.
Nursery manager, Claire Thorburn has 12 members of staff at the Woodhead Road nursery where Liam is the only male employee.
“The reaction from the children when Liam first came in was amazing. They just took to him right away. He has a good approach with them and is very calm.” said Claire.
She said the nursery was also keen to offer opportunities for local people.
“We want to give people in our community the chance to get high quality training, learn and gain the skills that will help them develop their careers.” she explained.
Claire added: “Liam has been a positive and inspirational role model for the children who think he is terrific. He also encourages the dads to be more involved with their children’s development and encourages them to get involved in the children’s interests.”
Karen Robertson, Senior Marketing Officer at Carousel Training Centre, said Liam had made a strong contribution to his workplace since the start of his apprenticeship training.
“Carousel Training Centre is firmly committed to improving equality of access to Modern Apprenticeships in Childcare for all. Apprenticeships are a fantastic route into work for young people, offering the opportunity to secure employment, earn a salary and gain a qualification all at the same time. We have been working closely with Liam and Claire and can see how his skills have developed. It is inspiring to see a young man choosing to work in this sector, which has traditionally high numbers of female workers, and to see how Liam is successfully progressing in his chosen career.”
Lucia Capaldi – Carousel Training Centre
At the age of 17, I finished my 6th year at school and secured employment in a Bi lingual pre-school in Italy.
After working for a year abroad, I decided I wanted to continue my career in Early Years back in Scotland so I looked into various different options on how to become a qualified Early Years practitioner. This is when I applied to Carousel Training Centre after seeing their website on Google.
After submitting an online application form, I was invited in for an interview at the Glasgow training centre and was informed within days that I had secured a training position. Almost immediately, an interaction day was set up for me and after completing my first interaction day, I was offered the job at ‘Four Seasons Nursery’ in Glasgow to undergo my Modern Apprenticeship.
From the minute I applied online, I was very impressed with the communication I received from Carousel Training Centre. The whole process was so quick and the staff were so helpful and efficient throughout.
Throughout my apprenticeship, I worked with children aged 0-5 years old. I quickly realised how much responsibility I had in the nursery, even as a Modern Apprentice.
I received regular visits and online support from my Carousel Assessor, Carol Rippin, who was very approachable and encouraging throughout my training. She communicated well with my employer in order for them to work together to help and support me.
As well as visits from my Assessor, I also attended the Glasgow training centre one day every four weeks for a workshop to develop my theory and underpinning knowledge. There was a classroom full of candidates at the same stage as me, which I found reassuring and motivating.
My class teacher, Arlene Cameron, delivered the course in a way which allowed each person to work at their own pace. After each class I found myself taking an abundance of knowledge back to my Nursery, allowing me to become a better practitioner in the workplace.
Like any qualification it was challenging, but the support I received from my employer and Carousel Training were second to none.
I qualified with my SVQ Level 3 in 15 months, which felt amazing. It also gave me great pride that I was then given more responsibilities in the nursery as a qualified practitioner, such as; having my own key group of children and being a mentor for the new Apprentices who started in the nursery.
Carousel’s graduation ceremony was especially exciting as I got to graduate alongside not only my colleagues, but my friends. This was a day for us to celebrate our achievements with our family and friends and be proud of all the hard work we had put in throughout our training.
Within months of graduating, I was offered a ‘second in charge’ position in the pre-school room at Four Seasons Nursery which led to me being promoted to ‘Room Supervisor’.
Five years on and I now proudly work for Carousel Training Centre as a Marketing Officer. I get to share my own experiences with new candidates and support them to start their own career in Early Years. Some of my duties at Carousel include interviewing potential candidates and assisting them to find employment. I use my own experiences to encourage them and show them that by working hard you can achieve any goal you set your mind to.
Scott Crawford – Orchard Park Nursery
After leaving school at the age of 16, I was unsure of what career path I wanted to follow and found myself doing a ‘life skills’ course at college. This is where I first heard about Carousel Training Centre. I had never thought about a career in Early Years as it didn’t seem like something I would be capable of doing. My college had organised a placement in a local nursery for me to see if it was something I would enjoy and three days later I applied for a position as a Modern Apprentice with Carousel Training Centre.
I was invited to a presentation and interview at Carousel’s Glasgow training centre, which provided me with information about what the course involved. I was made successful at my interview and a member of the marketing team at Carousel then assisted me to find employment in a nursery. A trial day was organised for me at Orchard Park nursery in Newton Mearns, where I was made successful and offered employment. I then started working full time in the nursery two days later.
I worked with children aged 0-5 years old on a daily basis and enjoyed working with a variety of children at all different stages of development. I also worked closely with a group of three children (my key children) as well as continuing to develop relationships with all children and staff.
Throughout my apprenticeship my Carousel assessor (Emma Gilmour) would visit me at my nursery on a regular basis to assess my practical competency in the workplace and mark my written portfolio. She would give me advice, support and encouragement if I was falling behind with the workload or struggling with any aspects of my job. As well as this, I would also attend a theory class at the Carousel training centre in Glasgow where my class teacher (Linda Duffy) would provide me with a comfortable learning environment. She supported me when I needed it but also let me excel when I felt confident with the theory work. Through this amazing support and encouragement I obtained my SVQ level 3 within 14 months.
After qualifying I felt even more like part of the team at work as I was now allowed to have the same number of key children as my colleagues. Two months after qualifying, I was then promoted to room supervisor where I am still the lead member of staff for the 2-5 age group across two rooms.
It gives me great pride when I think back to my first day when I attended my interview at Carousel to now being a room supervisor in a nursery. It also fills me with pride that I managed to achieve all of this within 18 months, which is something I never thought I would be able to achieve. Without Carousel Training Centre I would not be where I am now.