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Celebrating apprentices at Childbase Partnership – the future in their hands

Would-be nursery practitioners at the award-winning, employee-owned Childbase Partnership are not only being celebrated during National Apprenticeship Week they are also being offered permanent jobs if they successfully complete a new bespoke training programme designed to give them careers not jobs with the company.

Special lunches, cards, flowers and cake were some of the treats on offer for nearly 200 apprentices, in 41 day nurseries in the South of England, who are not only benefitting from increased study time away from nursery but also a full range of training opportunities.

Sarah Mackenzie, Childbase Partnership Quality and Training Director, who is overseeing a doubling in the company’s Apprenticeship Programme from 78 apprentices in 2014 to 191 last year, said:

“We want our apprentices to be ambitious about their careers with us and confident that our training and mentoring programmes will help them to develop, personally and professionally, within our organisation.”  

“As employee owners, we are all invested in each other and ensuring that the children in our care receive the best possible start in life. Talented, skilled and ambitious young people on clearly defined career paths will get us there,” she added.

Just one of many role models for the company’s Apprenticeship Programme is 30-year-old Lora Worthington who joined Windmill Hill Day Nursery aged 17 years, and after holding every major role there, is now Manager.

Describing her four apprentices as enthusiastic, dedicated, popular and valuable members of the Windmill staff team who deserve recognition, Lora says she is actively encouraging them to aim for her job.

“When I started I was surrounded by people who believed in my capabilities which gave me confidence to pursue my ideas and embrace new opportunities. I want to do the same for these gifted new recruits,” she said after putting them all in the spotlight at nursery and presenting them with a home-made celebration cake.

The Windmill Hill Apprentices are Emily Riordan (17years), Kyra Georgeson (24), Elizabeth Kent (18) and Siobhan Phelps (18).

The new Apprenticeship Training Programme is a year-long plan with a monthly training focus on topics ranging from ‘Observation, Assessment and Planning’ to ‘Parent Partnerships’.

Also included in the programme are training days at the company’s Head Office to complete preparedness for the bespoke ‘Teach to Reach’ programme, and modules associated with Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications which are delivered by Childbase Partnership and Lifetime Training.