EXP Playwork apprentices
Playwork apprenticeships collaboration opportunity
Weavers Adventure Playground is seeking playwork apprentices from other adventure playgrounds to join a training scheme.
Benefits to apprentices: regular income and training for a future in playwork
Benefits to adventure playgrounds: worker at half the minimum wage
Funding needed: government requires employers to contribute 10% of training costs
Contact: Beverley Burnett, Weavers Adventure Playground
firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0207 729 1295
Beverley Burnett explains:
Having returned to adventure playwork after an absence of 10 years I was dismayed at the lack of training available for playworkers. It worried me that there is such a lack of support for adventure play across the country and I wondered what will happen when all the older playworkers retire... so I applied for funding from Children in Need for a playworker and apprentices (three over three years) and was awarded the funding! Great... except that a lot of training providers that say they deliver playwork apprenticeships don’t actually deliver it as there is no call for it
I have found a company that will deliver playwork apprenticeship training if I can find 8 or more apprentices. My thoughts would be that we could have a regular collaborative training day, probably at Weavers, for all the apprentices London-wide, to work with the trainer which would cut training costs. Training costs have changed with the government policy from May 2017, so it is not entirely free anymore. There may be some free training, but the government guidelines say that employers should be contributing 10% (I believe).
Using an apprentice scheme would be fantastic for the young people who, in the past, have volunteered their services once they have outgrown the service user age (in our case 16+), but would also offer them a regular income and training for a future in Playwork. From a management point of view, playgrounds would get a worker for half the minimum wage! Apprenticeships can be worked over 1 year (30 hours per week) or over 18 months (20 hours per week), depending on the funding available to playgrounds. This is a pocket of funding that could be tapped as ‘employability and training’ for young people (excellent progression) instead of stopping at playwork for young people up to 16 years old.
Of course, apprenticeships can be taken up by any age group – it is just our preference for 18+ as we work with young people up to age 16+ at Weavers Adventure Playground.