Who said never work with animals or children?
19 January, 2023
From a farm in wet and windy Wales to sunny Sydney and a career in early childhood recruitment, it’s been quite a journey for Expect A Star's Ray Powell.
Growing up surrounded by sheep and cattle gave young Ray an appreciation for the balance between man and the environment which led him to study wildlife ecology and conservation science at university.
Fast forward and Ray and his best mate embarked on the trip of a lifetime to Australia in 2019. For Ray, our unique flora and fauna were a big drawcard and he arrived hoping to launch the career for which he had studied. But it’s a hard sector to crack and he began exploring the country and other industries in which he would work.
Ray says he bounced around call centres and customer service before moving into onboarding with Mastercard in Sydney before a very different opportunity presented itself … right across the road.
“I’d been working for Mastercard for a while when I learned of the role with Expect-A-Star,” Ray said.
“The office was just a couple of buildings from where I was working. I saw the role and, although I’d never seen myself working in Early Childhood education, I saw a great opportunity to start a career in recruitment."
“It’s worked out so well. The Expect A Star team is great, I enjoy the role, I’m learning lots and love living in Sydney!”
And while a young Welshman may not fit the stereotype most Aussies think of for someone working in the Early Childhood sector, he says that picture is far from accurate anyway.
“I guess stereotypically it’s an industry we expect to be filled with women, but I’ve met many male early childhood educators too,” he said.
“We also have a lot of people on student and temporary visas and others applying from abroad to enter the industry here.
“It’s great to see growing diversity in the sector with male educators having influence and presence in early development. Those who join us from overseas also contribute greatly through sharing their culture and experience with their peer educators and the children."
“We’re helping people enter the industry and gain their qualifications too. We partner with a Registered Training Organisation to help them complete the training hours they need and it helps us grow our candidate pool.”
Ray says Early Childhood education is a surprisingly flexible profession, well suited to people who have commitments to care for their own children, elderly parents and other obligations. It’s also one which has the capacity to move from temporary to permanent roles for people who have the dedication to succeed in a rewarding career.