NORTH Ayrshire Council is celebrating Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Week by announcing that 20 young people will get the chance to join its Early Years team on a new two-year programme.

Starting in August 2018, the successful recruits will work in an Early Years’ Centre/Class within North Ayrshire.

The Education and Youth Employment directorate is seeking 20 motivated candidates with a passion for working with the children in our early years’ establishments, to ensure it can continue to deliver high quality provision.

Across Scotland, entitlement to fully funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) is due to increase from 600 hours to 1,140 hours by 2020.

This means that all three and four year old children, and eligible two year olds, will be entitled to almost double their current provision.

From June 2018, the council will advertise the Early Years’ vacancies along with a variety of other Modern Apprenticeships including business administration, janitorial, vehicle maintainance; waste operatives; horticulture; cultural services; youth work; health & social care; digital marketing; housing; payroll; customer service; IT; procurement and professional cookery.

Councillor Alex Gallagher, Cabinet Member for Economy, said: “Scottish Modern Apprenticeship provides us with an opportunity to highlight our aspiration of Developing Ayrshire’s Young Workforce and our highly successful Modern Apprentice programme is key to this.”

Rachel Hunter, Senior Early Years Practitioner and Former Early Years Modern Apprentice, said: “I started my modern apprenticeship in October 2010. I’ve wanted to be a ‘nursery nurse’ for as long as I could remember but I didn’t believe that I would be successful in applying at college or university. An apprenticeship seemed like the best way forward for me. 18 months on, I had successfully qualified as an Early Years Practitioner.

“After I qualified I joined the bank list which allowed me to gain experience. I had my fair share of failed applications and interviews but eventually I was successful. I was offered a job working with two year-olds and I couldn’t believe my luck. I started a month later and quickly got to work in applying for a university course for BA Childhood Practice at UWS.

“In August 2017, I was successful in securing the role of Senior Early Years Practitioner and I love my job more and more everyday”

For more information about the council’s Modern Apprenticeship programme email MAEnquiriesEG@ or call 01294 324949.