Three employers in Suffolk, in partnership with SkillsActive, the sector skills council for sport, active leisure and learning, are aiming to give 25 young people the chance to kick-start their sporting career by offering Apprenticeship opportunities in football.
Recruitment is now underway for positions on the year-long programme, which provides the opportunity for apprentices to gain nationally recognised qualifications whist working in a football related setting. Successful applicants will have the chance to be employed in one of the counties three high profile football organisations - Ipswich Town FC Needham Market FC, and Suffolk FA - in coaching, playing, administration or football development.
The FA’s Head of the National Game, Kelly Simmons, is delighted that football organisations across the landscape are working together in Suffolk to provide the opportunity for young people.
“We are really excited about this Apprenticeship programme because it uses the attraction of football to give many young people their vital first employment opportunity. Not only does it support them in developing long-term options within the football industry, but it reinforces the FAs commitment through the National Game Strategy to developing a strong club, league and administrative infrastructure within the grass roots community game.
“The FA are working closely with SkillsActive to ensure quality Apprenticeships are embedded across the game with strong commitments from all those interested in developing and nurturing the future talent of football coaching, refereeing and administration.”
The programme has already employed 40 apprentices since it was established in July 2011, including Elliot Jarrold, 16, from Needham Market. Elliot says: “I always wanted to work in sport but I wasn’t sure how to get started, until I heard about this Apprenticeship. I went along to the trial where I was tested on my technical ability, and I got in. Now I’m gaining the skills to be a football coach, improving my game and earning money. It’s great!”
The training is coordinated by Suffolk-based provider, WS Training. WS Training’s Head of Vocational Learning, Simon Page says: “We’re delighted to be helping deliver training to young people as part of this innovative scheme. This is a great example of how working together can bring about positive outcomes for a large group of young people who an interest in working in sport.”
Young People on the Apprenticeship programme will follow the frameworks designed by SkillsActive, in consultation with employers. The apprentices will gain nationally recognised qualifications such as an NVQ in Activity Leadership NVQ and FA Coaching Awards.
SkillsActive’s Head of National Partnerships, Stephen Mitchell, says: “More and more employers are turning to Apprenticeships as an effective way to recruit, develop and retain effective employees. SkillsActive is proud to be supporting the delivery of football Apprenticeships in Suffolk.”
For more information about the apprentice opportunities see http://www.wstraining.co.uk/apprenticeships-nvqs/football-apprenticeships