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Apprentices driving team effort behind Lullaby Lane Nurseries

Work-based learning Employers Apprenticeships
Lullaby Lane Nurseries Pauline Scott 005

Lullaby Lane Nurseries sees apprenticeships as the perfect way to nurture a workforce who embrace working and learning.

The nurseries, based in Milngavie and Bearsden on the outskirts of Glasgow, became apprentice employers in 2013 and have since employed 40 Modern Apprentices, 35 per cent of its current workforce.

Primarily registered for the Social Services Children and Young People apprenticeship, some 13 apprentices have progressed into promoted roles, including the current nursery manager, two team leaders and one trainer. The nursery also supports Foundation Apprenticeships for school pupils, offering 30 placements to date.

Apprentices at heart of practice

With 15 Modern Apprentices learning within the business at present, that track record reached over decade earned Lullaby Lane a place as finalist in the SME Employer of the Year category sponsored by the Scottish Qualifications Authority in this year’s Scottish Apprenticeship Awards.

Director of Lullaby Lane Nurseries Pauline Scott said: “We always talk about the need to attract new talent but also to mould and shape people into our ethos of attachment led, which places the emotional wellbeing of our children, and our team, at the heart of our practice and policies. It is all about children feeling emotionally secure.

Achieving in a safe environment

“So, training and development through opportunities such as apprenticeships has always been at the forefront of what we strive for, as our business exists to help inspire and support people to develop their infinite potential. To grow your potential you need to be in an environment that is psychologically safe and nurturing.

“Primarily a female sector, a lot of women are signposted to come into this field of work, perhaps because they are perceived to not be academic or that they didn’t like school.

“What we try to do is help people see their own potential and talent which they maybe didn’t realise they had. Once they build their knowledge through an apprenticeship, the confidence grows.

“The Modern Apprenticeship model works so well for us, as people are benefitting from that practical life experience and you just cannot simulate that. An apprenticeship is the perfect balance of off the job training and on the job learning.”

People development through apprenticeships

One shining example of the potential pathway for a Modern Apprentice at Lullaby Lane Nurseries is Donna Adams, so highly thought of she was offered a manager’s role in Milngavie, just at the very moment she was going on maternity leave. Donna’s Modern Apprenticeship was delivered by learning provider Tigers Ltd, with Lullaby Lane Nurseries part of the Tigers group.

Donna said: “When I joined Lullaby Lane as an apprentice I started a whole new journey. I was at Level 4 when I was going on maternity leave and it was at that point I was offered the manager’s position. which isn’t a situation you often hear of.

“That says it all about the pathway available at Lullaby Lane and within the wider Tigers Group. There’s always more opportunities, it doesn’t ever remain static.”

Over 12,000 employers support Scottish Apprenticeships, which are work-based learning opportunities or jobs with industry-recognised qualifications. Designed with employers for employers, Scottish Apprenticeships are demand-led and responsive to regional skills needs.

Pauline said: “We are very proud to be a finalist and in particular we like that this is a team award. We have won individual awards and nominations in the past. It’s lovely that it feels like such a collective achievement because we put so much effort in training and development.

“Our team work really hard, and to be recognised as finalists, across multiple sectors, is very important. Lullaby Lane is a small business and there are some really big names named alongside us as finalists so to be recognised in this way gives a really great sense of pride, for Lullaby Lane, and the wider Early Learning and Childcare sector.”

Scottish Apprenticeship Awards

The winner of the SME Employer of the Year category sponsored by the Scottish Qualifications Authority was revealed at the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards, organised by Skills Development Scotland. Read about the winners at