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Scottish Apprenticeship Week (image)

07 Mar 2022

Careers in care Social service workforce

Graduate apprentice, Kristen’s story

This Scottish Apprenticeship Week we’ll be sharing stories from across the sector of the vital role apprenticeships play in supporting individuals, employers and people who use social care and early years services in Scotland. #ScotAppWeek22.

Today, we share Kristen’s story.

Kristen is a graduate apprentice in early learning and childcare.

Kristen Aitchison photo

 

 

I have found the course work to be really interesting and has definitely led me to reflect a lot more in my job role. I feel the experience has allowed me to build new relationships with my fellow students and have the opportunity to share collective thoughts about challenges that we face within ELC

 

 

 

 

Why did you choose a graduate apprenticeship?

It has always been a lifetime ambition of mine to study towards a degree, however there never seemed to be a ‘right time’ after having my two sons. When I had the chance to apply for the graduate apprenticeship (GA) I felt it was a great opportunity for me to have the chance to study flexibly towards a degree in Early Learning and Childcare while in my present job role.

I felt it was the perfect time for me to upskill myself in order to keep up to date with current theory and frameworks. 

In addition, I wanted to challenge myself and develop a deeper understanding of the various policies to help me feel more confident and knowledgeable in my role within the setting that I work, which would in turn benefit the children in my care.

What has your experience been?

I have worked in early learning and childcare (ELC) for over 20 years. I have been in my present job as a senior early years practitioner in Moray for almost eight years. I was able to join the GA in year 2 due to a previous qualification and my experience in ELC. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed studying the ELC course. I won’t lie, it has been really hard work! Juggling studying, full-time work and a busy family life can have its challenges, however the positives definitely outweigh the negatives when things click into place and the sense of achievement when I have successfully passed my module assignments is fantastic! 

I have found the course work to be really interesting and it has definitely led me to reflect a lot more in my job role. I feel the experience has allowed me to build new relationships with my fellow students and have the opportunity to share collective thoughts about challenges that we face within ELC, especially with regards to COVID-19. 

What are the benefits of completing a graduate apprenticeship?

If I successfully pass my GA degree, I hope to continue my studying next year to complete the childhood practice course. This is my ultimate goal to be able to proudly say that I have gained my childhood practice degree.

Completing my GA will give me the confidence that I am capable of learning new things and upskilling myself to be a good role model for my work colleagues. They will hopefully have the confidence in me, knowing that I have the knowledge to guide them and lead them in our journey of working as a team and hopefully motivating them to further their learning and development.

Furthermore, the parents will hopefully have the confidence in knowing that I am in a position of being aware of the most up to date literature and theory to help support their children. Finally, and most importantly one of the main benefits of completing the degree would be to hopefully inspire my own children in knowing that it is never too late to study and fulfil your dreams.

Share you story

We love to share the inspiring stories of people working in social work, social care and early years services and highlighting the valuable work you do. If you would like to get involved and share your story with us please email communications@sssc.uk.com.

Contact information

Nichola Stark
Scottish Social Services Council
communications@sssc.uk.com