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Swift ACI for Apprentices


Why become an Apprentice?


  • Begin a new job and career
  • Get paid even while you are training
  • Get an in-demand qualification
  • Learn a skill for life
  • Build your confidence
  • Receive a recognised qualification
  • Increases your Motivation
  • Develops a culture of continuous improvement
  • Enables you to not only get, but also more importantly to retain, employment.

What do you get?


  • Great companies to work for
  • First class training instructors
  • First class training facilities
  • A decent wage until you are qualified


Your Choices


As you consider your future following school, there are usually two options available to you – work or further education. At this formative time in your career either of these routes will have a major impact on your adult life, so it is critical that you make the right choices now. Your future depends on it!

Some people feel they want to continue their studies at this time, or just don't feel ready for work. Others are keen to develop their career straight away, especially considering the cost of further education and increasing competition for jobs.

An Apprenticeship combines the two – blending vocational work experience within a learning framework. The result is that you emerge with a respected qualification plus that desirable attribute employers crave – relevant real-time experience, so you can hit the ground running.


What to consider on entry


Whilst there are no formal criteria, people who successfully complete apprenticeships and continue to work in the sector most often exhibit empathy, care and interest in others and want to work in the child care sector. Whilst it is practical to up skill staff, successful apprentices they tend to come with the values and attitudes compatible with the roles they will be working in.

Potential apprentices should have a suitable level of physical fitness and ability to perform some aspects of the job roles.

Examples of some desirable skills in potential apprentices could include:

  • Motivation to succeed within the sector/s
  • Good interpersonal skills, effective verbal and non-verbal communication skills
  • Respect for children who use the services as individuals
  • A suitable level of physical fitness may be necessary in order to perform some aspects of the job roles
  • Willingness to undertake training and learning programme and apply that learning in the workplace
  • The ability to demonstrate that they have the potential to complete the Certificate for the Children’s and Young People’s Workforce and other qualifications that are part of the Apprenticeship framework
  • Willingness and ability to work both long shifts and irregular work patterns 
  • Willingness to undertake personal care which includes feeding, washing and toileting as well as nappy changing
  • An ability to work in small informal teams, demonstrating their listening skills and contributing towards decision making and practice as well as working in more formal teams following procedures 
  • A positive non-judgmental and open minded attitude and value system
  • A standard of literacy and numeracy in keeping with the demands of the job
  • Willingness to undergo a Criminal Records Bureau check, enhanced CRB checks are mandatory for all those working directly with children in the child care sectors
  • A driving license may be considered necessary by some employers


Care Assistant or Worker


Nursery nurses/assistants are the front line staff in all child care settings. They work with all types of children and their duties vary depending on the needs of the children.


Foundation to the Apprenticeship


The Foundation to the Apprenticeship is a 6-week programme designed to give you an introduction to the Child Care sector and develop skills and knowledge that employer’s need and value.

Upon successful completion of the Foundation programme, our recruitment consultants will have worked with you to obtain apprenticeship employment to enable you to progress on to the Intermediate Apprenticeship.


What can you do to give myself the best possible chance of securing a job for the apprenticeship?


  • Attend every scheduled session on time, dressed smartly and adhering to the academy dress code
  • Be focussed, and contribute to sessions
  • Be prepared – always have a note book and pen with you, complete all required homework or assignments
  • Use the support available to you – Dedicated Recruitment Consultant/Trainer & Academy Manager
  • Be polite, respectful, motivated and committed


What if I don’t manage to secure employment during the Foundation to the Apprenticeship?


We will continue to support you in attaining a job, and as soon as you secure employment you can start the apprenticeship. We have regular enrolments which ensure the opportunity of starting your apprenticeship as soon as possible. 


Progression to the Intermediate level Apprenticeship


Apprenticeships will be from different age groups, with differing backgrounds and experience. As there are no formal entry criteria, apprentices do not have to enter from previous qualification routes. As a guide, applicants may enter via a range if routes including from:

  • School or college
  • Work
  • Work experience
  • The sector route way or other entry to employment programme
  • Unemployment
  • Key Skills or Functional Skills
  • Other level 1 and level 2 qualifications


What can I expect when I start on the Apprenticeship?


Your apprenticeship will last for 12 months (depending on when you start and your progress). You will be working between 30-36 hours per week with your employer and attend the Academy one day a week for formal off the job training. You will then work with your employer full time to further develop your skills and experience via on the job training. You will be supported by an assessor throughout your apprenticeship.

During your apprenticeship you will gain Nationally Recognised Qualifications and valuable work based learning and experience. You will also receive an apprenticeship wage.


Progression From the Intermediate level Apprenticeship


Learners may progress from this pathway onto further qualifications specific to their work context. A wide range of qualifications are available for use within the child care sector. These may include further apprenticeship frameworks (e.g. Advanced level Apprenticeship in Child Care), QCF qualifications or other work-related education and training to support Continuing Professional Development.

Apprentices can also move to other parts of the sector, for example an apprentice specialising in learning disabilities can take a dementia qualification if their job role changes or if they wish to follow career ambitions in other parts of the sector.


Progression to professional qualifications in Child Care  


  • Diploma in Home-based Childcare
  • Diploma in Playwork
  • NVQ in Children’s Care, Learning & Development
  • NVQ Teaching Assistants
  • Diploma in Pre-School Practice
  • National Certificate in Early Years
  • Diploma in Childcare & Education
  • Certificate for Special Needs Assistants
  • Advanced Diploma in Childcare and Education
  • NVQ Level 4 in Children’s Care, Learning and Development


Progression to other specific job roles

  • Early Years Professional
  • Child Minders
  • Nursery Nurses; at level three nursery nurses are likely to have supervisory responsibilities
  • Teaching Assistant/Higher Level Teaching Assistant
  • Teaching
  • Nursery Managers