Aberlour Futures marks 25 years of training early learning and childcare workers for today and for the future


Scotland’s largest children’s charity, Aberlour Child Care Trust is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its Aberlour Futures service in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire.

Aberlour Futures is an SQA accredited training and assessment centre delivering vocational qualifications and training for the early learning and childcare workforce in Aberdeen City & Shire. Since launching in 1994, Aberlour Futures has helped more than 1,300 candidates across Aberdeen City and Shire achieve qualifications in Early Learning and Childcare.

The centre partners with local childcare employers to help their staff acquire the essential skills and knowledge to develop their childhood practice.

Its courses include SVQs for adults who already have experience working in the sector, and young people (aged 16-19) undertaking a Modern Apprenticeship.

The programme has also helped almost 360 young people in schools to achieve Skills for Work qualifications since the qualifications were introduced in 2009. This year, 32 young people attending St. Machar Academy and Lochside Secondary Schools participated in the Skills for Work in Early Education and Childcare. The Skills for Work programme enables young people to make a positive and informed career choice about a future career working with children and young people.

Last week, a cohort of 92 candidates were awarded their qualifications in Early Learning and Childcare subjects at a special awards ceremony held at the Aberdeen Townhouse after completing training through the Aberlour Futures programme.

Over the past 25 years, Aberlour Futures has supported the personal learning development of each candidate. Former SVQ candidate, Sacha Will, began her Aberlour Futures journey in 1996 whilst working as a childminder. Once she completed her SVQ Level 3 qualification through the programme, Sacha was asked to join the Aberlour Futures team as an Early Learning and Childcare SVQ Assessor to mentor other candidates. Aberlour Futures was able to support Sacha’s education career further by securing funding for her to begin study for a degree in Early Learning and Childcare at the Open University, and subsequently the University of Dundee. Sacha has since progressed her career and now works at Aberdeen City Council as an Improvement Programme Manager, where she works with communities to deliver improved local services.

Sacha Will, former Early learning and Childcare SVQ candidate, said:

“I first encountered Aberlour Futures 23 years ago when they supported me to complete an SVQ whilst I was working as a childminder. Their guidance and encouragement helped me to develop confidence and skills which allowed me to continue learning and work towards achieving my degree.”

“Aberlour Futures reached out to help me when there wasn’t an obvious route to take. Their encouragement has enabled me reach where I am today in my career, and I cannot be more thankful for the programme’s invaluable support over the years.”

Mary Crear, Service Manager, Aberlour Futures Aberdeen City & Shire commented:

“We are thrilled that Aberlour Futures is as relevant and needed now as it was pioneering when the programme first launched 25 years ago. We will continue to focus on providing high quality training and assessments to help deliver on the vision of a well-trained workforce, who are knowledgeable, skilled and better able to support the needs of the children in their care.”

If you would like to find out more about becoming a child care professional, contact the team at Aberlour Futures on 01224 764500 or email futures@aberlour.org.uk

Watch Mary Crear on That’s TV Scotland North>>

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