From education to employment

Grandir UK & Realise Name Their Apprentice of the Year

Thomas Shaw, aged 21, a Nursery Practitioner from Nottingham has been awarded the Apprentice of the Year by Grandir UK alongside their apprenticeship partner, Realise. 

Thomas from Clifton, is currently a nursery practitioner at Ryan House Day Nursery in Nottingham and has commented on the benefits his apprenticeship has given him: 

“I love my job and couldn’t be happier forging a career in early years.

“Being a man working in a nursery is a fantastic experience and the children love having that balance of genders.

“Some of them won’t have a male role model in their life so they look up to you and it means a lot that I can potentially make a huge difference to their lives at such a young age. I’d encourage any man thinking of moving into the sector to go for it.”

With the total workforce in the early years sector made up of just 2% males, Thomas is proud to be flying the flag for men working in nurseries but admits he has overcome challenges to reach his current position.

He said: “When I started out in my level 2 apprenticeship, it was tough going and I fell behind in my work due to anxiety issues I had at the time.

“I was also struggling with self-doubt about whether I actually belonged in the early years sector as a male.

“But, with the help of my managers at the nursery and trainer at Realise, who have all been brilliant, I got right back on track and the apprenticeships have really helped turn my life around.”

After studying for his first apprenticeship in August 2021, Thomas is thrilled with the progress he has made.

Thomas continues: “Completing my level 2 qualification was a fantastic achievement for me and I’m due to finish my level 3 apprenticeship next month, about eight weeks earlier than anticipated.”

Part of an apprenticeship scheme is to help people find a career and learn while on the job. Not only has Thomas managed to find his career path, but he’s able to build on his personal life because of it.

“I’m really proud of the progress I’ve made. The motivations of being successful in apprenticeships and working towards saving to move into a property with my girlfriend, are really driving my career forward.”

More information on Grandir UK’s apprenticeships can be found here.

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