Challenging new role for apprentice

Challenging new role for apprentice

Stuart moves to dream job

A Forth Valley teen is encouraging other young people to challenge gender stereotypes after landing his dream job through modern apprenticeship.

Nineteen-year-old Stuart Drummond, who lives in Stirling, started his childcare apprenticeship with Clackmannanshire Council last year, working in Banchory Nursery Class in Tullibody.

Modern apprenticeships let individuals work, earn and learn, working towards industry-accredited qualifications whilst in paid employment.

Stuart works at the nursery Monday to Thursday, as well as a half day on Friday, with the remainder of the day spent training at Clackmannanshire Council’s Alloa headquarters.

While still a pupil at Wallace High School, Stuart had dreams of working with children or becoming a primary teacher – but later decided to apply for college to study travel and tourism. He soon realised this wasn’t for him, and discovered that a modern apprenticeship could offer another route into working with children.

“The apprenticeship has given me a lot of good experience,” Stuart said. “As well as working in the nursery, I go into the school’s primary one class to get a better understanding of the transition from nursery to P1 and the role we play in early years.”

Stuart is the only male early years worker in the council but that hasn’t put him off his dreams of working with children.

He said: “It’s 2018. We’re at the stage where jobs shouldn’t be gender-based. We need to break down that barrier of having certain genders working in certain roles. It’s good to have a mix. In nurseries, it’s vital to have that difference. Having a male in the workplace gives the children a different role model.”

Clackmannanshire Council currently have eight modern apprentice early years practitioners working across the authority and have plans to recruit ten more next year.

According to Education Support Officer Kirsteen Carmichael, apprentices are playing a vital role in the expansion of early years provision across Scotland.

She said: “For us, apprenticeships offer the opportunity to grow our own staff. We can influence their training and experience that they get, so that when they qualify, these are staff that we want to employ because we’ve had an input into what they’re doing.

“Stuart is doing really well. He’s keen and enthusiastic, and has been from the onset. He’s getting a lot from his apprenticeship.”

The Observer’s sister paper, the Daily Record is providing youngsters with everything they need to know about becoming an apprentice at the third Scottish Apprenticeship Show which will visit Edinburgh’s EICC on September 2-3 and Glasgow’s Science Centre on October 7-8.

For more information on attending or sponsoring/exhibiting visit: www.scottishapprenticeshipshow.co.uk.

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