Career Start in Child and Youth Care - žžֱ: Specialist services & support for young people facing adversity


Seize the opportunity to begin a rewarding new career as a Child and Youth Care Worker with žžֱ. No previous experience or qualifications are required. Full training and mentoring provided.

Through the 12-month programme, you can expect to earn a living wage, gain invaluable work experience and study towards a HNC in Social Services. We are in-search of enthusiastic, compassionate and hard-working individuals with life experience who are keen to make a difference to the lives of young people.

Closing date: Monday 3rd June 2024

Key Milestones

Find out what the year of training will entail with an insight into the key milestones that lie in the year ahead.

Induction | Meet the staff team and your personal mentor who will provide ongoing guidance. Also, take part in the essential initial training. Throughout the year, there will be opportunities for further mandatory training and development.

Begin HNC in Social Services | žžֱ’s Learning and Development team will offer full support throughout the year of the course. Each week one day is dedicated to HNC coursework, another a study day and the remaining three days involve a work placement, gaining practical experience and spending time with young people.

Connect with young people | Gain an understanding of the rhythms and routines of the dedicated house and begin building trusting friendships with the young  people. Undertake tasks and activities to support your fellow colleagues and offer care, support, love and stability to the young people.

Mid-Year Break | The HNC has a 6-week break from coursework and an allotted Annual Leave break of 10 days, allowing for students to reflect on the skills and knowledge learnt so far. Continue to gain valuable practical experience as the work placement carries on throughout. Holiday entitlement is applicable as per the individual’s contract and may be subject to the approval of the relevant house manager.

Final HNC assessment | At the end of the year, completion of the final HNC graded unit will allow you to gain a part qualification to support your new career as a Child and Youth Care Worker.

Interview | At the end of the 12-month programme and upon achieving the necessary qualifications, an interview for a Child and Youth Care Worker role at žžֱ is guaranteed.

I am really enjoying studying for my HNC in Social Services. The support I receive from the team I work with daily as well as žžֱ’s Learning and Development team is amazing.

Previous trainee Child and Youth Care Worker, Michelle

Frequently Asked Questions

Understandably, applicants may have many questions about the prospect of embarking on a new career or moving forward with a complete career change.

Tell me more about žžֱ?

As a specialist child and youth care charity and social enterprise, žžֱ empower young people through care, education and support.

Many of the young people we care for have experienced trauma or adversity in their lives. We give them consistent love and care, an inspiring education, and the therapeutic supports to help them achieve their best. By providing a safe, stable environment that is both nurturing and therapeutic, alongside a robust support network, we provide young people with opportunities and encourage them to believe in themselves, feel a sense of belonging, and realise their own self-worth.

What is a Child and Youth Care Worker?

At žžֱ, Child and Youth Care Workers play a significant role in making a positive difference to the lives of our young people. As a friendly, familiar face, the care workers spend time with the children and young people and form genuine friendships. They support young people in carrying out their day-to-day activities such as attending school, taking part in hobbies and enjoying leisure time.

žžֱ supports children and young people from the age of five – 26 meaning the role can offer the opportunity of job variety. Key traits of Child and Youth Care Workers include the ability to demonstrate commitment, flexibility and resilience.

There is an important element of report writing and monitoring to ensure care plans are up-to-date and that young people are receiving the best support possible.

I joined in with the girls’ dance classes and together, performed a routine to the whole of žžֱ. It helped form a bond between us as we all shared great laughs.

Previous trainee Child and Youth Care Worker, Michelle

Am I eligible to apply to Career Start?

Some people do not realise they have the potential to become a great carer for children and young people. We’re looking for those with life experience, who have the understanding, perspective and drive to give young people a chance at life.

If you have the ambition to lead a more fulfilling career, helping young people who need additional supports, Career Start gives you that opportunity with the peace of mind of an income while learning on the job.

Through a strong friendship I have built with a quiet, introverted young person, I have since encouraged them to enjoy swimming, exercise in the outdoor football pitches and get involved in the regular cook nights.

Previous trainee Child and Youth Care Worker, Emma

Will I be paid?

Yes, Career Start gives you the opportunity to do a career change and gain a HNC qualification while earning the Scottish Living Wage.

Upon completion, you will be eligible to apply to our various Child and Youth Care worker roles and as a result, salary levels may change.

What are the hours of work?

The contract will involve working 37 hours per week across a combination of shifts including weekends. The week will allow for a day completing HNC coursework, a study day with the remaining three days spent in the work placement.

Each trainee Child and Youth Care Worker will be assigned a dedicated mentor, who is a qualified, full-time care worker and will provide guidance, advice and support. Shift patterns will be mirrored with the mentor as much as possible.

Will I be entitled to holidays?

At žžֱ, the holiday year runs from 1 April to 31 March with 207 hours Annual Leave and 30 hours Public Holidays. The designated Public Holidays are Christmas and New Year. (No enhanced payment will be made for any shift worked on a Public holiday other than those specified above.)

Please note, your exact holiday entitlement for the period will be calculated upon an agreed start date. 

Can I drive žžֱ vehicles?

Yes, a driving license is an essential requirement for the role. All driving excursions are subject to an approval process.

Where will I work?

žžֱ has a range of specialised services across the West of Scotland and the staff team are expected to be willing to work where needed. Child and Youth Care Workers may be based within our secure, residential or community settings. Where possible, we encourage staff to visit other services and departments across žžֱ to gain an understanding of the range and breadth of services provided as part of our integrative approach to supporting children and young people. At žžֱ, all services are shaped around the individual needs of children and young people.  

I was able to bond with a young person I cared for over a common interest in football. As a result, I encouraged him to attend football training. The young person did extremely well that the club asked him to continue training and eventually play with the team. His skills progressed and his overall confidence grew as a result.

Previous trainee Child and Youth Care Worker, Aidan

What will be expected of me in the dedicated house where I am working?

You will support fellow colleagues by undertaking tasks and activities with young people. For the first six months you will be an additional member of staff, before progressing to being on rota for the final six months. While you are on placement, all actions, as far as possible, should endeavour to ensure you have a varied and rewarding learning opportunity.

I remember being extremely nervous about starting, but the young people instantly began chatting to me and I thought – yes, this is the role for me.

Previous trainee Child and Youth Care Worker, Andrew

Watch žžֱ on STV News

STV News featured Career Start with previous trainee, Janey who is now a Child and Youth Care Worker at žžֱ. Her career change was from retail to Child and Youth Care.

Next Steps

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