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City nursery worker Craig Mackland says seeing young children learning new things each day is one of the best parts of his job.

The 22-year-old cites the support from his colleagues at the Rocking Horse Nursery as another.

Craig decided to work in childcare after helping out with as a Literacy Ambassador with a Primary 1 class while he was in fifth year at St Machar’s Academy.

“I enjoyed it and decided to go to college to do my National Certificate in Child Care. During my time at college I had a placement at Rocking Horse Nursery and was offered a job when I completed my course,” he explained.

The nursery is part of the University of Aberdeen and offers care for children of staff and students.

Craig’s manager Sarah Walker was keen to see him progress and he is now working towards a Level 3 Social Services (Children and Young People) Modern Apprenticeship.

Sarah said: “Everyone here brings something different to the nursery which is a good thing for our team and the children. It is very good to have a male practitioner and Craig is a great role model for the children.”

Craig has never faced any barriers as a male in what is traditionally seen as a female occupation. “When I first came to the nursery on my placement, I didn’t really know what to expect, but everyone here was really nice and helpful,” he said.

Training provider Kirsty MacBeath, director of Cairn Training, said: “Craig is a hard-working, dedicated apprentice who finds it useful to work on his SVQ material at our fortnightly study groups. He speaks so highly of the nursery and his colleagues, it is clear how much he enjoys his job and working with children.”

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