National apprenticeship week 09 - Mar - 2015

Busy Bees Training celebrates Apprenticeship Week with over 600 apprentices across the UK and challenges the outdated ‘hair or care’ reputation

As National Apprenticeship Week has come to an end, Busy Bees Training manager, Fay Gibbon, has called for apprenticeships to be recognised as a valuable asset needed to create a skilled, quality workforce and to urge businesses to factor apprentices into their future employment strategy.

Delivering its in-house training programme since 2003 with funding obtained by the SFA Busy Bees is committed to empowering its dedicated staff teams with exceptional skills and knowledge, and the forward-thinking required to deliver the very best in quality childcare. To date they have delivered their apprenticeship programme to over 1800 learners within both Busy Bees nurseries and external smaller, independent nursery settings. By the end of 2015 there will be an incredible 1500 Busy Bees apprentices on programme.

Last week, to observe National Apprenticeship Week, Busy Bees instigated a number of activities across their portfolio of 237 nurseries to give full recognition to over 600 dedicated learners currently enrolled onto their Apprenticeship Programme.

As part of the week’s celebration Marg Randles, MD and founder of Busy Bees made a special journey to Lancaster and Preston to meet two very special apprentices at their respective nurseries.

Annalise Williams, is 17 and currently completing her level 2 course. She passed through the selection process with flying colours due to her sunny disposition, understanding and enthusiasm for the role. Her mentor at nursery, Stacey Newbold, has come up through the training process and is in the final stages of completing her level 3 management apprenticeship. As well as being highly motivated and driven with high career aims within Busy Bees, Lucy is extremely supportive of the learners within the nursery.

Lucy Simpson, completed her Level 2 framework with Busy Bees last year and has also progressed onto Level 3. Lucy works in the baby room and is incredibly enthusiastic, full of great ideas and has formed excellent relationships with the parents and carers. Lucy is very committed to achieving her framework and is also ahead of her target. Since being with Busy Bees Lucy has also achieved her GCSE Grade C in Maths and English and is currently completing ICT as part of her framework.

Marg Randles, who spent the morning at Busy Bees Lancaster and afternoon at Busy Bees NHS Preston said:

“Still now, 30 years in the business, I consider it as an absolute privilege to spend time with our children. As a practitioner I never once tired of my duties. More so, I was enthralled by the daily challenges and successes that working with children provides. Now, when I see our new recruits I’m so grateful and delighted that they share the same passion. That’s what quality childcare should be all about; an enthusiasm to engage, inspire and care for those little tiny individual people – an absolute commitment to deliver the best outcomes for each and every one. What I saw today with Annalise, Sophie, and Lucy were exactly that and I thank them and their dedicated trainers at the nursery and from our training department for their devotion. They are the stars of the future and improved outcomes for thousands of children will be in their hands. A responsibility that should never be taken lightly.”


Fay responded:

“This week’s activities have been put in place as a reminder to our apprentices, staff, parents and wider community just how important they are to all of us. Visits from the senior management team gives our apprentices a real boost, and the opportunity to ask questions about the company and obtain a wider view of where their own career might take them.”

“Apprenticeships currently available at Busy Bees are The Children and Young People’s Workforce apprenticeship programme Level 2 and 3, catering level 3 and Level 3 in Management, along with a number of one day short courses.

“Today, completing an Apprenticeship is a perfectly acceptable route to a stimulating and rewarding career or embarking upon a degree course, yet it is often wrongly assumed that those pursuing a career in childcare lack the aspirations or academic ability to achieve. It’s time that the Care industry as a whole combined its energy and resources and looked at ways of combatting the debilitating ‘hair or care’ reputation it has put up with for so long.

“This common misconception that a career in Early Year’s Education is an easy option for the low achievers is unfortunately still at large with parents, teachers and even some career advisors. This attitude has a direct impact on students who enrol on courses, both in terms of dissuading capable candidates from the offset and lowering the morale and confidence of up and coming childcare professionals – and nothing could be further from the truth.”

To find out more about Busy Bees internal or external apprenticeships please go to

Busy Bees Apprenticeships currently available

Childcare Apprenticeships currently available are: The Children and Young People’s Workforce apprenticeship programme Level 2 and 3 are NVQ based, Level 2 being open to school leavers age 16 and over who have a passion for working with children and wish to become Assistant Early Years Educators and Level 3 leaning more towards older and more experienced staff who aim to progress to a more responsible position as Qualified Early Years Educators and Room Managers.

The Level 3 Management Apprenticeship, also a nationally accredited NVQ, is undertaken by existing Room Managers and often leads on to further progression within the company into more varied roles such as Nursery Managers, Health & Safety Officers or Training Assessors, able to pass on the training themselves to the next apprentices.

Busy Bees provides top quality support and training for all of their staff on a continual basis, helping to improve individuals own technical and organisational skills to provide the overall service that every parent looks for when seeking out a place of security and to trust to send the most important thing in their lives. Busy Bees offers a wide range of essential courses and qualifications covering a multitude of topics, both externally and in-house, which are delivered by their in-house training team.

For more information regarding choosing the right career path within the childcare sector please go to or contact Busy Bees Training on 01543 711150.

Find out more about National Apprenticeship Week