Ben Mortimer 28, who was born and raised in Elgin, Moray has a great success story to tell from staying in Moray, working in the Early Education and Childcare Sector.
Just a few weeks before leaving his secondary education in S6 at Elgin High School, Ben was still unsure what career path he wanted to pursue. At this point, after speaking to his guidance teacher they thought it would be a great opportunity for Ben to go on a work placement locally to provide an insight for him in to the world of work.
Ben was placed at the Magic Roundabout Nursery in Elgin for the last two weeks of his final year at school. After completing his work experience, Ben felt that Early Education and Childcare was the industry he wanted to pursue.
Following this discovery, Ben then went to a Moray College UHI Open Evening to find out more about what opportunities they offer. Before attending this, he wasn’t aware they offered a route for going into Early Education and Childcare.
In 2008, Ben achieved an NC Early Education and Childcare qualification, whilst studying at the Moray College UHI. Also, as part of this course he under took a 6-week placement at the Magic Roundabout Nursery, as well as a 6-week placement at Alves Primary School. He really enjoyed both experiences thus, made it more difficult for Ben to decided what age group he wanted to continue working with.
However, brilliantly, Ben was then offered a full-time job at The Magic Roundabout Nursery.
In 2012 he gained SVQ Level 2 in childcare, then decided to take a few months off and work at a summer camp in America in 2013. In 2014, the nursery also put him through his SVQ Level 3 in Children’s Care, Learning and Development, making him a fully qualified Child Practitioner – by gaining both the hands-on experience and attending College once a week.
Even though he thoroughly enjoyed spending many years at The Magic Roundabout he then decided that he wanted to experience something slightly different. He sent his CV to many local primary schools and was successfully offered a job at New Elgin Primary School as a Pupil Support Assistant.
“I can’t pin point one thing I loved about my work experience or my job as there are so many different aspects involved! I love seeing the kids’ faces light up when I walk in the room along with singing silly songs and telling them stories. I do my job as it is really rewarding providing the first steps of education to a child and seeing them progress and grow. In an ordinary day you become an actor, an artist, a musician, a cook, a construction worker, a singer, story teller among others as these are just some of the parts you would encounter if you decide to look into a career in childcare.
My advice to those that are still in school, is to ask about work experience opportunities and get stuck in there. It is great getting hands on experience as well as getting your foot in the door. This is a fantastic career choice and I would recommend it to anyone. Without the work experience I wouldn’t be in the job I love.”
The value that work experience can bring to a young person in Moray is significant. Even if you find that it is not the career you wish to pursue – an insight in to the world of work at school is invaluable. Also, Moray College UHI offer a great range of qualifications that can help you begin your Career journey. Many of these can be found here - https://www.moray.uhi.ac.uk/courses/.