As the early years and childcare sector continues to evolve, the importance of skilled and passionate professionals remains paramount. Embracing apprenticeships has become a transformative strategy for employers looking to both bring in fresh talent and upskill their existing workforce. But the question persists: When is the Best Time for Hiring Apprentices in the Early Years and Childcare Sector
The Journey of Apprenticeships: Hiring New Apprentices and Upskilling Current Staff
Apprentices can be new or current employees. Both avenues offer distinct advantages and require careful consideration of timing.
1. Hiring New Apprentices: Nurturing Fresh Talent
Bringing in fresh apprentices can inject new energy into your team. It’s smart to hire young apprentices when they’re just starting their careers. Take Lucy, for example, a recent school leaver who is looking forward and excited about what’s next for her. Hiring her as an apprentice unto a level 2 qualification could be a perfect match!
In addition, there are incentive payments available to employers who hire a new apprentice. Employers have an opportunity to receive £1,000 each when they take on an apprentice who falls under one of these categories:
- Aged 16 to 18 years old
- Aged 19 to 25 years old and possesses an education, health and care (EHC) plan or has been under the care of their local authority.
2. Upskilling Current Staff: Enhancing Expertise from Within
Again, apprenticeships aren’t solely for newcomers. Upskilling your current employee through apprenticeships is a powerful strategy. Imagine Tom, a dedicated member of your team with several years of experience in early years education. By offering him an apprenticeship opportunity to achieve a Level 5 qualification, you tap into his existing commitment and amplify his expertise. This targeted approach not only elevates Tom’s skills and knowledge but also deepens his connection to your organisation’s growth.
Strategic Timing: Best Time for Hiring Apprentices in the Early Years and Childcare Sector
- Education Cycles: Leverage the enthusiasm of fresh graduates by aligning recruitment efforts with educational cycles. Graduates are eager to apply their learning in real-world scenarios. By hiring them as apprentices, you bridge the gap between theory and practice.
- Seasonal Demand: The early years sector often experiences seasonal peaks. Consider hiring apprentices to meet these surges, bolstering your team’s capabilities during demanding periods like the back-to-school rush or holiday season.
- Continuous Learning Culture: Apprenticeships invigorate your team with new ideas. By strategically hiring or upskilling throughout the year, you foster an environment of perpetual learning, benefiting both apprentices and seasoned professionals.
Apprenticeships, whether in the form of hiring or upskilling, aren’t just about short-term gains. They’re investments that fortify the future of your early years setting. By aligning with education cycles, addressing seasonal demand, and fostering a culture of continuous learning, you’ll shape a workforce ready to provide exceptional care and education to the youngest generation.