Attracting a more diverse workforce has to be a top priority for the Early Learning and Childcare sector in Scotland.
SDS has published its Early Learning and Childcare Skills Investment Plan Prospectus in partnership with industry, which lays out high level targets for the sector.
A detailed action plan will be published later in 2017.
The Prospectus is part of the response to the increase in Scottish Government targets for free early learning and childcare provision, it sets out direction and actions to ensure the sector has the workforce to fuel the expansion, and provide high-quality, flexible and accessible childcare across the country.
A key recommendation is increasing diversification of the workforce by showing early learning and childcare as a positive and rewarding sector where the skills, qualifications and qualities of the workforce are valued.
Other recommendations include better promotion of routes into and pathways through the sector, ensuring a continued focus on opportunities for progression, re-skilling and upskilling and engaging with Early Learning and Childcare employers.
Paul Zealey, SDS Regional Skills Planning Lead said: “Attracting, nurturing and retaining a diverse Early Learning and Childcare workforce to support children, their families and communities will ensure the best possible start in life for young people, and supports attainment and tackling poverty.
“Getting this right will be good not just for young people and the sector, but for the Scottish economy as a whole. Increased flexibility in childcare provision also allows parents and carers greater participation in learning, training and work.”
“The industry is well-positioned to cope with the increase in demand for free childcare places as we’ve seen the qualification levels of the 39,030 people working in Early Learning and Childcare in Scotland steadily increasing in recent years, and the pathways for progressing careers are well established.
“But the challenge will be to attract new talent from other industries to fill up to 20,000 jobs that will be created in the sector in coming years, and to increase diversity.The early learning and childcare workforce is overwhelmingly female, at 97%, so it’s clear there’s a need to work on attracting more men as well as minority ethnic and career changers into the sector.”
Read the Early Learning and Childcare Skills Investment Plan: Prospectus
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