Alok Sharma, the Member of Parliament for Reading West, has visited Fledglings Day Nursery to celebrate the 13th annual National Apprenticeship Week. Alok spoke to apprentices at the nursery to help raise awareness of apprenticeships in the Reading area, organised by local training provider Chiltern Training.
Alok was welcomed to the nursery by Louise Otty, owner of Fledglings Day Nursery. Louise has recently opened a new nursery, Fledglings Lodge, and there are currently 5 apprentices across the two nurseries based in Tilehurst. Fledglings Day Nursery continues to support its students and enable full completion of their apprenticeships. During the visit, Alok spoke to apprentices Chloe, Lauren and Amelia. Chloe recently completed her level 2 CYPW apprenticeship and Alok presented her with the certificate.
Chiltern Training is a work-based learning training provider that offers training programmes, including Level 2 Apprenticeships and management courses in a range of sectors. Chiltern Training is one of the largest local training providers for apprenticeship delivery and plays an active role in promoting the far-reaching benefits of apprenticeships.
Apprenticeships give young people a great way to learn while they are working and earning. For employers, apprentices bring passion and energy into their business and are a great way to get the skilled work force they need. Since May 2010, there have been 8,370 apprenticeship starts in Reading West. The number of apprenticeship starts in the area per annum has risen from 720 in 2017/18 to 820 in 2018/19.
Chloe, apprentice, said: “I Have really enjoyed completing my level 2 apprenticeship, I love the hands-on learning that I get at the nursery. My assessor gives me guidance and support as well as the college tutors. I am now looking forward to moving onto my Level 3 apprenticeship.”
Louise Otty said: “We have been working with Chiltern Training for over 15 years and the apprenticeship scheme works well in encouraging practitioners into the early years profession. The students get a combination of 'on the job training' from experienced staff/mentors as well as classroom-based support when attending college - of course also being paid to gain their qualifications is also beneficial. We have been fortunate to have been able to offer many apprenticeships over the years and in fact many of our staff have also gained their qualifications through Chiltern Training.”
Sheree Douthwaite, Business Development Manager at Chiltern Training, said: “Here at Chiltern Training we are always aiming to raise the profile of Apprenticeships, we have worked with Fledglings for many years and they have always been a very supportive employer, and this is so important when working with apprentices.”
Alok Sharma MP said: “It was wonderful to meet the hugely committed team at Fledglings Day Nursery, including brilliant apprentices like Chloe. I was delighted to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week with them and I welcome the fact that since May 2010, there have been 8,370 apprenticeship starts in my Reading West constituency.”
Photos: Alok Sharma MP and Chloe Thompson, collecting her Level 2 CYPW certificate.
2 (L-R): Staff trained by Chiltern Training, Nicola Beard, Claire Bicknell, Keeley King, Lauren Grover, Amelia Biddle, Chloe Thompson, Lauren Thumwood and Tanya Naish.
3 (L-R): Kathrine New Nursery Manager, Louise Otty Nursery Owner, Alok Sharma MP, Chloe Thompson, Deanna Da’Breo Chiltern Training.
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