It’s that time of the year when children across the Liverpool find out whether Santa thinks they’ve been naughty or nice. We talk to Elf, Carol, about her apprenticeship that trained her to report back to Santa.

Households across the Liverpool City Region are about to Dec the Halls. Santa too is preparing for his annual rounds, but how does he know which chimneys to drop down and whose will be given a wide berth? For many years now he has been sending out scout elves. These elves are trained to observe and report on children’s activities on the run up to the big day. On the run up to Christmas thousands of elves across Liverpool households will be watching closely and getting back to Santa.

Carol is the elf who watches the Harrison family on the Wirral. “It’s a tough job and the training is comprehensive. We all start out as apprentice elfs. It takes 36 months to qualify and when we do we can put on our elf scout uniform in our passing out parade. It’s a proud day when Santa says we are on the scout team and we get our certificate,” says Carol.

Elf apprenticeships involve on the job training in households across the North Pole and at Santa HQ. Observation and covert monitoring theory comes from Rudolf College, the premier North Pole training provider.   “We spend time in selected North Pole houses year round putting the theory and skills into practice, which makes us very good at what we do. You’d be surprised how crafty naughty children can be, but comprehensive training means it’s all recorded and assessed fairly to ensure Santa has all the relevant information to make present delivering decisions,” Carol tells us.

It’s not just about the intrinsic observational skills the apprenticeship delivers a host of life skills too. “It’s not our job to be judgemental, we sit quietly watching, silently thinking kind thoughts. When Emily posted jam sandwiches in the games console I did not judge, I simply took note and reported in that evening. The time that Jack drew the Liverpool skyline in crayon on the dining room wall, at least I think that was what it was, I saw the creative potential for him to be the next Banksy. I just thought kind things and naturally, Santa heard all about it,” reveals Carol.

Other life skills include how to report effectively, having the right kit and the right attitude. “Every elf chooses a household and we arrive well presented with a little note book and a good memory. We’re responsible for making sure we are dressed in our elf uniform and that we have remembered the spells that make our evening flying skills work best. The most exciting part of the apprenticeship for me was learning the flying skills required to report back to Santa and still be back the next morning,” Carol says. “More recently apprenticeship modules have included monitoring beyond the house. We are now watching when the family are out shopping. Sometimes we see a few children go berserk in the high street. The shopping trolley incident on Albert Dock of 2010 saw our watching brief extended and training added to the apprenticeship.”

Not all Elves are as well trained as Carol, some pretend to report but never do. “Apprenticeships make us a cut above the rest of the elves as we have a direct remit from Santa and the skills and training that Santa can rely upon. We are very proud to be helping Santa out and are looking forward to being in homes across the Liverpool City Region again this Christmas.  I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas,” says Carol.

If you would like further information on apprenticeships and how to apply for them, talk to the Apprenticeship Support by Be More Team They provide impartial information and advice on apprenticeships across the Liverpool City Region.