Work and Skills Skills for Growth

£1.5M awarded for Early Years training courses in Greater Manchester

Staff working in Greater Manchester’s Early Years industry are being offered fully-funded training opportunities to help children achieve their potential.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has awarded a £1.5m contract to Acorn Training to deliver Early Years training. The training aims to ensure that those working within the Early Years sector have access to high quality continued professional development, as part of the Skills for Growth programme, funded through the European Social Fund. 

Costs are often cited as the biggest barrier to development in the Early Years sector and the industry has identified a number of skills gaps. The new free courses will be a fantastic opportunity to combat this and improve outcomes as well as social mobility for young children and their families. 

Acorn Training will focus on upskilling individuals who work with children from birth to age five to better understand and support early development and learning. They are committed to developing teaching and deepening learning, so that teachers and practitioners can make a difference to every child.

The programme aims to connect those working in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) settings with Early Years teams so that everyone can benefit from their experience, knowledge, and passion to inform understanding of how children learn and develop. It also offers the option to work with employers and employees to create bespoke training bundles suited to individual needs. 

Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, Greater Manchester’s Lead for Education, Work, Skills, Apprenticeships and Digital, said:

“Our greatest resource is our children, and we need to invest in their Early Years education by giving teachers and the workforce the resources they need to inspire those young minds.

“To realise our ambitions the sector must have the right skills and the best training available to help our children reach their true potential, improve their outcomes, raise social mobility and empower our businesses with an ever-growing talent pool.

“We look forward to the launch of the Acorn Training programmes, as we endeavour to inspire the next generation to bigger and better things.”

Councillor Mark Hunter, Greater Manchester’s Lead for Young People, said:

"We know the sector is suffering from a significant skills shortage.  It's fantastic to hear GMCA, with investment from the European Social Fund, is partnering with Acorn Early Years Training Programme to address that shortage.

“This is an important initiative aimed at attracting new talent to the sector and providing them with the skills and qualifications needed, to pursue a rewarding career shaping the futures of our children."

Gareth Saldanha-Fallows, Managing Director at Acorn Training, said:

“We are delighted to be bringing our Early Years training expertise to Greater Manchester.

“We will work in partnership with local employers in the Early Years Sector to understand their business needs and offer bespoke training bundles. Our training is designed to support the business objectives, development and ensure they can continue to provide a high-quality care offering to children under five within their provisions.

“The learners are at the heart of everything we do, and our talented team of trainer assessors and tutors ensure that learners are well-equipped with the skills and knowledge that they need to aspire, make good choices and succeed in their chosen career within the Early Years Sector."

The programme will benefit:

  • Individuals working in Primary Schools
  • Maintained Nursery Schools
  • Private, voluntary or independent sector Early Years Settings
  • Those working as childminders

Training sessions available include:

  • Improving Knowledge & Understanding 
  • Developmental Milestones
  • Developmental Concerns 
  • Teamwork around Children 
  • Safeguarding, Health & Wellbeing 
  • People Management 
  • Safer Recruitment & Selection 
  • Leading Practice 
  • Vocational, Education & Training

The Skills for Growth programme is available as a result of GMCA securing funding from the European Social Fund to deliver a three-year programme, working in partnership with businesses and training providers to create new learning opportunities for employed residents in the city-region.

Throughout the programme, GMCA will gather intelligence from businesses, which will be used to shape new training programmes. This unique and truly employer-led approach means that GMCA create a solution that is fit for purpose.

To apply for Early Years training please visit: Skills for Growth - Early Years - Acorn Training Ltd

For more information about the training opportunities available in different sectors across Greater Manchester, head to our ‘live training programmes’ page.

Article Published: 10/10/2022 11:43 AM