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New £2 million scheme for early years apprentices


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I wonder what support settings will get in order to support these apprentices on their learning journey? Building on what Possum has said, I wonder if unscrupulous settings will view these workers as just an extra pair of hands?

 

How will the interface between colleges/training providers and the settings work, and does anyone know how much an apprentice is paid these days? I thought I saw somewhere on the Forum that they were paid less than £3 an hour but that can't be right, can it?

 

As usual with anything this Government produces by way of press release, I am left with more questions than answers...

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I guess there's two ways of looking at this:-

 

A full-time student currently earns nothing on their work placements, so this might be quite attractive - in effect being paid for something they would previously be expected and required to do for free as part of gaining their qualification.

 

£2.65 an hour is pitiful, even if they don't have to do learning journeys, or act as key person. I suppose it is the same for any apprentice on a recognised scheme, though. :(

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We're advertising for an apprentice at the moment on the £2.65 an hour. We think that the benfits for us are the extra pair of hands - not included in day to day ratios / not responsible for key children etc. They might be in a ratio occasionally covering a lunch break but they will always be with an experienced practtioner and they will never be in charge of a group on their own. We think that the benefit for the apprentice is experience of working with all ages 0-5, working with full range of practitioners who have a range of qualifications (from college NVQ2, workplace apprenticeship NVQ2, right up to Open Uni Early years degree - not including me (teacher, MA Ed, EYP yadda yadda yadda). We expect to recruit some to us who chooses a work based course rather than a college course which will give them the same qualification but will also pay them around £100 a week. If you look at it as being instead of going to sixth form it's a winner.

We think it's a win win situation - and we appreciate that we're lucky to be able to afford an extra pair of hands (but then it's my business and I like to look after people and give release time)

I think if they are included in the ratios as a matter of course then there will be problems - but that's not where we're going with it!

 

pw x

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£2.65 for apprentices up to 19 years old!!! (but they wont be able to be included in ratios will they?)

They could be included in ratios.. they are old enough and a regular member of staff...

 

we never counted our apprentice in ratio, but they were unpaid or had the ema that was around then.. they became a member of staff.if we had need of more staff and they were good enough, otherwise end of apprenticeship they left the setting..

 

we never had any income for supporting them, but our college was very good and helped a lot when we needed it.. as we did not pay them we saw that as our extra for having them.. more staff/ higher ratio per session.

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No, they still get £2.65 per hour but do get a qualification at the end. Some prefer to do this work based than college based. Its not all roses though, ours although really lovely, its like having another child on your books!

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As I'm becoming more and more disillusioned about college based students (not all, but more and more seem to pass regardless of levels of motivation, enthusiasm, skill/performance but are not really equipped to work in the real world of early years where the bar is rising higher and higher!) apprenticeships are becoming appealing so that we have the most influence over them - would want to pay more though as long as they are old enough/capable of doing a fair role - money is getting tighter and tighter these days, but quality remains top of the list of priorities

 

However on the flip side - would I have wanted to earn a small amount of money for doing the same(ish) training that I did for free? - yeah, no brainer (and it would have freed up my evenings and weekends from the part time student, cheap labour job!) BUT I would have wanted to have been trained in a quality establishment. As with most things it's going to be abused and not all apprentices will end up in quality settings with a firm foundation for their years ahead <sigh>

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(but they wont be able to be included in ratios will they?)

 

This situation has me puzzled as I've been approached by a few school leavers, just 16 - they are being encouraged to seek placements and earn money in a sector that can't count them in numbers (under 17's) so they become a cost to the business that can't be utilized - seems unfair for them to have the carrot dangled

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Guest sn0wdr0p

I have vowed never to take college students again. We have had one who just stopped coming and the college had no idea that she was no longer coming or why despite numerous requests another wandered in about an hour late each day despite constant discussions, reminders, chivvying etc. etc. However, we have taken on apprentices and have had real success with one a year for the last three years and have kept each of them on at the end of their apprenticeship.

 

Apprentices are much more reliable, know the setting and the children and do a pretty good job. They can help plan and see the outcome of their planning and see children develop over time rather than a student who attends maybe once a week for a term and needs to have tasks 'set' for them rather than our apprentices who tend to get on with it.

 

I realise the pay is rubbish but it is better than nothing which they would get as a student but at the end of it they come out with a lot more experience than a student and good reference and usually with me a job - not a guarantee but a pretty good bet.

 

I make sure that I allow time to sit with my apprentice and look at what information or training she needs, allow access to our library of reference books and materials, allow myself time to speak to her tutor and opportunities for further training and courses - the same ones that my staff attend.

 

Our apprentices have always been via JHP training which has recently been taken over by Learn Direct. My criteria are that they are at least 18 and that I interview them. I tend to find apprentices have made some effort into finding a position rather than students who often unthinkly drift into any course availalble - I think some must just close their eyes and stick a pin in the college prospectus. I had one who told my deputy she hated working with children and wanted to work with the elderly. (I told the college not to send her back the next week rather than waste my time and energy on them)

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It is a great idea that we night go some way to inspire the next generation of childcarers. I agree that apprentices do offer us some more dedicated candidates than some of the college diploma students. But my worry is at the end of the course not being able to offer them a role. I am also in the position of only offering sessional care, so do you think finding an apprentice who ants part time hours would be easy, and is there a lower limit as to how many hours woould be allowable?

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Our apprentices have to work a minimum of 30 hours a week and are entitled to 4 weeks holiday pay. We have apprentices from 2 providers, one has a day release a week to go to college, the others are every other week. All our apprentices have completed their level 2 with us and are now doing level 3. We have definitely had some 'interesting' characters that haven't lasted long, but our currents ones - we have 5 - are all brilliant and if we have jobs at the end of their level 3 we would offer them to them all. We pay more that the £2.65 when they start their level 3, and we also give them some key children and encourage them to bring ideas to planning activities. Apprenticeships are definitely a brilliant way to learn about working in Early Years, much better than going to college and doing a few placements.

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