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A virtual meet and greet was held with two nursery workers on Monday 17 January inspiring local people to consider a career in the profession.

The webinar, called Teach Portsmouth Presents Early Years Education welcomed parents/carers, young people and professionals to learn about the range of careers on offer in nurseries, supporting children aged up to four.

Councillor Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council said:

“Aspirations Week is a great way to get people thinking about the careers they want. Early years education supports children who are just starting out, teaching essential life skills that will benefit them for years to come.

“By inviting nursery workers to join the webinar, those watching were able to get a very real look at the rewards and challenges of the job. No career is without challenge but both individuals gave a reassuring account of what people can expect when they join the profession.”

Like many professions, becoming a nursery practitioner requires patience, creativity, and care. These soft skills are essential to progress in the sector as you start from an apprentice and work your way up. Those who aspire for more can move into management or even own their own nursery.

Abbie Hendry, manager at Rainbow Corner Nursery shared her experience progressing into a more senior role, said:

“Before joining a nursery, I was a hairdresser, but I wasn’t enjoying it. I would work every weekend and didn’t have enough time to see friends and family. A friend had recently joined a nursery and was doing really well. I decided to enrol at a local college on an apprenticeship. I quickly fell in love with the role, especially the relationship I developed between parents and their children.

“Over time, I wanted to move into a more senior position after completing my apprenticeship. I gained a qualification to help children with special educational needs. I’m now a nursery manager – it can be hard work but it is really rewarding.”

James Dyer, a qualified nursery practitioner, who co-owns a nursery, spoke about his background as a teacher, said:

“For many years, I worked in youth and play services across the city. It was a job I loved but I began to think about a career in teaching. After I completed training, I became a primary school teacher. I really enjoyed the role but an opportunity to join my wife at Southsea Nature Nursery soon came up.

“I now co-own the nursery and absolutely love it. Outdoor learning for children is important and I’m honoured to be able to provide that service.”

Those who joined the webinar were able to submit questions which were answered during a live Q&A session.

Webinar host, Mindy Butler, childcare and early years manager at Portsmouth City Council said:

“The webinar is a fantastic resource for those who are just starting out on their early years journey. It gave us a chance to showcase what Portsmouth has to offer for unqualified and qualified individuals. From amazing apprenticeships that prepare people for work to the supportive community of nurseries who foster an environment where progression is possible. There are many opportunities for people to make a real difference to the lives of young children.”

A recording of the webinar is now available to watch on the Teach Portsmouth website. Visit www.teachportsmouth.co.uk/webinar.

Teach Portsmouth work to recruit, retain and grow the best teachers and leaders for Portsmouth. It is part of the Portsmouth Education Partnership which is supported by Portsmouth City Council and education providers across the city.