Kenyan workers boost islands’ early years teams

Kenyan workers are being recruited to the Channel Islands to help deal with a significant shortage in early years staffing. The first two qualified nursery sector workers have already started roles in Guernsey and Jersey.

GR8 Recruitment - Kenyan Workers Boost Islands' Early Years Teams

GR8 Recruitment said it had worked with the Kenyan government to develop a programme to ensure new employees meet the required standards before moving overseas.

Lee Madden, managing director of GR8, said there was a “severe recruitment issue in the early years care sector across the islands”.

“Through our partnerships in Kenya, we have access to hundreds of fully qualified and experienced early years practitioners and are prepared for the cultural differences that they may face when coming to work here”, he said.

Mr Madden added: “The idea to go further afield is one that has worked across other sectors. The benefit to the individual is they are getting some solid experience working in the UK market, and it pays significantly more than it would back home.

“We are getting early years carers providing the service. They are talented, have qualifications and tick all the boxes. The children are getting cared for so allows people to go back to work. It’s good for the economy and addresses the gender pay gap. The benefits are many.”

GR8 Recruitment - Kenyan Workers Boost Islands' Early Years Teams

Emina Naabu, 32, was the first Kenyan national to arrive in Guernsey as part of the scheme, and is to be joined by three compatriots in the coming weeks. The nursery school teacher said: “I am finding it so welcoming. The people here are so kind and work wise they have modern work ethics that make me feel at home. “The schools here are paying way better than back home. My parents were renting, but now I can help them live at their own property. “I can better their lives and give them something they have not got when they were growing up and that makes me happy. Neil McDermid, of La Petite Ecole nurseries said the company was “very pleased” with the process it undertook to recruit Ms Naabu. He added: “Emina has settled very well into our Nursery, she is excellent with the children in the nursery and popular with the staff.”

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