Gordon has been to a special open day hosted by the Blackpool-based nursery group Childs Play, aimed at recruiting a new cohort of apprentices following yesterday’s GCSE results.

He was welcomed to Meadow Nursery, just off Whitegate Drive, one of six Childs Play nurseries in Blackpool, by their site manager Gemma Green, who started as an apprentice with the company back in 2002.

Gordon was then introduced to staff from the training providers – Pyramid Training Services, GP Strategies and Training Works who work with Child’s Play in offering levels two and three apprenticeships in childcare and health & social care. Gordon chatted to them about the training they gave, the recent changes to apprenticeship assessments and the impact the levy was having on apprenticeship funding.

He said: “Both as the local MP and Labour’s Shadow Apprenticeship Minister I am very pleased to see a Blackpool company like Childs Play going out to pro-actively recruit apprentices. Both for the business and the individuals themselves, an apprenticeship can be a very good route to go down with the ability to earn whilst you learn. Gemma who started as an apprentice herself and has gone onto management is a really good role model for other apprentices starting out in the childcare sector.

“It’s also great to hear they have built up a strong relationship with three well established local training providers who all specialise in the childcare. This is a sector which is really important for Blackpool because there are many parents locally often juggling part-time work who need accessible and affordable childcare. Having highly skilled and qualified people in this area is a must for Blackpool’s economy.”

Sarah Sloane, who owns the business with her husband David said: “Apprenticeships are a fundamental element of our business. Many of our senior staff have been with the company in excess of 15 years and began on the apprenticeship route. Today was about raising awareness of the benefits of doing an apprenticeship and about the company securing a significant number of apprentices ready for September.
We are very lucky to have 3 strong training providers to deliver the apprenticeships and assist us in creating a highly skilled workforce.”

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