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Kids Planet Training Academy launches Sports Coach Traineeship

Company News

15 December 2021

Kids Planet Training Academy is partnering with Vocational Skills Solutions Ltd (VSS) to provide a Traineeship Programme that supports sports coaches into early years settings.

The Knutsford-based Training Academy is headed up by Gill Mason, Head of Training and Development, who has been a champion for building a gender-diverse workforce and actively recruiting men into Early Years Apprenticeships.

Open to young people aged 19 to 24 to help prepare them for employment or an apprenticeship, the latest provision of a sports coaching Traineeship is a 10-week programme that includes at least 70 hours of work experience placement on top of functional skills (Maths and English) and essential digital skills (IT).

Gill Mason, Head of Training and Development at Kids Planet, said: “Kids Planet is committed to recruiting more men into the early years. Building on the success of our academy’s Early Years Apprenticeship programmes and our GMCA men in the early years project in partnership with the fatherhood Institute, we are now recruiting young people and adults to take part in a unique traineeship sports coach programme.

We’ve seen first-hand the positive impact of recruiting more men into sports coach roles to support our nurseries, championed by existing male staff. Research clearly shows the importance of play, sport, exercise, and learning outdoors for children which has become even more pressing following the impact of lockdowns, and we’re extremely excited to be embarking on this Traineeship in partnership with VSS.”

Dave Mason, Tutor with VSS (Vocational Skills Solutions Ltd) on the Traineeship Programme, who will be helping learners with functional skills and Essential digital Skills on their Traineeship, said: “This is a unique sports coach training programme which allows learners to gain functional, digital, and hands-on skills, and a combination of sports and childcare, breaking down barriers for gender stereotypes and opening up doors to both women and men into childcare.”

Men in Childcare is an ongoing initiative and campaign within Kids Planet. Nathan Cook and Jake Baron, Sports Development Officers, recently attended a careers fayre at St Bede’s High School in Lytham, to highlight men working in the early years sector, and are keen to get involved with further events.

Speaking about the role of a sports coach, Nathan Cook commented: “Our role is getting the children outside, getting their physical development up, and the children love it. I think it’s the best thing that the nurseries have, the sports capabilities.

Whether the child is sporty or not, they all like taking part in the sessions we provide. We put pictures and videos up that the parents can see, and parents often comment that the children won’t stop talking about it – even the quiet children. It’s giving them the confidence to join in and is rewarding for us.”

Keiren Heron, Sports Development Manager, said: “The easy answer to tackling the lack of men in early years is to employ more men, but it’s getting them into something they are interested in firstly – such as sports, and then opening up their world to the possibilities of early years.

We’re role models, in lots of nurseries you don’t have that. The difference from when I started, you’d walk into the room and children would sometimes cry when they saw you because there’s a man in the nursery and they weren’t used to men being in the nursery. Now that we’re in and about the nursery and the babies and children see us all day every day, they’re not scared anymore.”

Kids Planet is also actively recruiting a cohort of 12 men across Greater Manchester through our in-house Early Years  Apprenticeship at levels 2, 3, and 5. And we are particularly interested to hear from men who may have lost their jobs or changed their working patterns or aspirations during the Covid-19 crisis. Additionally, we would love to recruit male school leavers.

We believe we should be modelling the fact that looking after educating young children should be a job for everyone, not just women. Our male employees play an integral role in the care and education of children in our care.

Contact to find out more about our apprenticeship opportunities, and call 01942 932 050 or email for more information about the traineeship.


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