Webb A & McQuaid R (2018) Overcoming the perceived low status of Early Learning and Care sector and increasing its attractiveness to the low-qualified people. Replay-VET ERASMUS+. Briefing Paper (How-to-guide). Frankfurt, Germany. http://www.replayvet.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/15-How-to-guide-UK-Scot-1.pdf
This guide presents key considerations for how to improve the professional status and the overall attractiveness of employment in the Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) sector. These will help the sector to be considered as a good career choice for new entrants and career changers now and in the future. It offers strategic recommendations, especially for the sector’s professional bodies, skills councils, local governments and policy makers leading on the sector’s expansion and those interested in the sector’s skills development plans and workforce diversity policies, including the employers and recruiters concerned with increasing employability of low qualified people in the ELC. Most of these recommendations could be considered by other sectors with similar challenges, e.g. low professional status, undervaluation of work, female overrepresentation, low pay or gender pay gap, etc.
The ELC is a key strategic sector with particular social and economic importance at the local, regional and national levels. Significant policy-driven expansions in the Scottish ELC sector are currently being implemented with an estimated 20,000 new jobs needed to deliver the increase in provision promised by the government. The sector requires a variety of diverse roles, which include managerial and professional, but also lower skilled at entry-level childcare and support roles. Strategic change approaches focused on overcoming the sector’s challenges are therefore timely and important to fulfill the objectives of the expansion policy over the next two years and at the same time improve the job opportunities for low qualified people at risk of the labour market exclusion.