Childcare centre pledges roles for six new trainees

A north-east business which specialises in nurturing youngsters in their formative years is now aiming to help a group of talented trainees take their first steps on the career ladder.

The St Swithin nursery in Aberdeen is already developing five budding childcare assistants at its three sites in the Granite City.

And it has now pledged to recruit one more as part of the Press and Journal’s Apprentice 100 campaign.

The nursery was founded in 1967 and employs 40 full-time staff.

And owner Elaine Terry said she hoped our drive to create 100 apprenticeships in 100 days would provide the catalyst for unearthing new talent.

She said: “It is becoming more challenging to recruit.

“I can’t quite put my finger on a reason, but society does not seem to be as interested in the caring sector as it used to be.

“The problem seems to be unique to Aberdeen. Edinburgh and Glasgow do not have this problem – they have so many candidates applying for one position.”

St Swithin nursery

And Ms Terry said many older child minders, particularly those who used their own homes to host children, had been forced out of the profession by overregulation.

She said: “Even mature candidates can get funding to do training, which is good news because the sector went through a difficult time. If we can bring back some mature apprentices then we will get the balance back.”

Ashley Stewart has worked as a junior child care assistant at The St Swithin since March.

The 17-year-old, who will soon start her official apprenticeship, said: “Working in childcare is something I’d always wanted to do. For a long time I have had a strong interest in the development of children.

“I had done placements before so I had a fair idea of what to expect, but I’m enjoying the job so much. I always look forward to coming in to work and meeting new people and greeting new children.”

Apprenticeships at the nursery are delivered in partnership with local training centre Aberlour Futures and take about two years to complete.

Become a childcare apprentice at The St Swithin by sending a CV and cover letter to elaineterry@ or by filling in an application form online

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