From education to employment

MSP Craig Hoy hears about the important role apprentices are playing in Early Years education

People standing outside a building

South of Scotland MSP Craig Hoy recently visited Kingsmeadows Nursery in Peebles to talk with staff, including Modern Apprentices studying at @BordersCollege, about Scottish Apprenticeship Week.

The Conservative MSP for the West Scotland region was welcomed by Kingsmeadows Manager Rebecca Graham and Borders College Director of Enterprise and Business Innovation Katharine Mathison.

Mr Hoy was interested in hearing about how the Early Years staff are developing their skills and career prospects through the Modern Apprenticeship route at College.

He also chatted to staff about the issues and challenges faced by privately owned nurseries, and the benefits of apprentices in the vitally important sector.

Commenting on his visit, Mr Hoy said:

“It was great to join Modern Apprentices from Borders College at Kingsmeadows Nursery for National Apprenticeship Week, and find out more about how their learning experience incorporates working in a real nursery.

“I believe that Modern Apprenticeships can prove to be a valuable alternative to university as they get students into rewarding and high-skilled work. College apprenticeships can be tailored to the individual throughout their college education, and I would strongly encourage those interested in doing an apprenticeship to get in touch with the team at Borders College to find out more.”

Borders College currently has 10 Modern Apprentices working at Kingmeadows, and the qualifications they gain are essential to them providing a first-class learning experience to the children they care for.

The informal visit also allowed the MAs to talk about their learner journeys and the value of progression routes available in the education system.

Katharine Mathison commented:

“The role of the Apprenticeship programme in providing training, qualifications and employment cannot be underestimated. Apprenticeships are the beginning of career pathways for young people and as such should be celebrated and promoted more widely in our schools.

“The visit was a great opportunity to showcase the work of Borders College and the success of the Apprenticeship programme in growing local businesses and supporting young people to thrive and learn while undertaking important and rewarding employment.”

Rebecca Graham added:

“We were delighted to welcome MSP Craig Hoy and Katharine Mathison to our setting. The modern apprenticeship route is a great way for our staff to become fully trained Practitioners whilst still managing to work part/full time hours.

“We feel really proud of our MA students and look forward to continuing to see their knowledge and skills develop through the training and hands on practice within the workplace, further benefiting the experiences and outcomes provided for the children within our setting.”

Kingsmeadows Nursery was established in May 2000 and was the first purpose-built nursery and out-of-school club in the Scottish Borders. The business was recently taken over by the Bright Stars Nursery Group.

Working in partnership with Scottish Borders Council, they offer a wide range of stimulating and challenging age and stage-appropriate activities in their custom-designed premises, helping children’s development and building their confidence and self-esteem.

Organised by Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Apprenticeship Week runs from 6th – 10th March to shine a light on the vital role apprenticeships play in supporting people, employers and the economy.

Related Articles