CEO: Helping young people find pathways to a successful career

This past week has seen a lot of discussion around how the country will tackle unemployment, with new data released showing that we have never had more of our young people, aged between 16 and 24 without jobs.

As we have increased the of the amount of work we are now doing in this sector, we featured in a BBC News story to talk about the provision we deliver to tackle this issue.

As part of the feature we discussed a host of programmes we deliver to help young people on their path and also find new pathways to a successful career.

We started by discussing our new High School Hubs model, which places a member of our team in every secondary school in Blackpool, to support with students mental health and resilience. We also deliver a number of other programmes as part of this offer, including PL Inspires, which focuses on supporting pupils to mentally prepare for the GCSE exam pressure and trauma this can cause.

Moving on from school, we have a large post 16 offer to support young people to understand their next steps.

For those who are classed as NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) we deliver a very successful Traineeship provision for 16-24 year olds, which works with individuals for 12 weeks on employability skills, maths, english and digital skills and also places them on a 24 day work placement, linked to an area they may like to progress. Even last year, in a pandemic, 60% of our participants progressed into full time work.

For those that know they would like a career in Sport and Leisure we have BFC Sports College. This is where we educate students post 16 on a full time BTEC Level 2 and 3 in sport and coaching.

Students attend our Bloomfield Road facility to learn and experience the sector, whilst also engaging in an enrichment programme that includes representing Blackpool FC in the national EFL Colleges league or students can engage in our sports coaching academy and sharpen their skills even further.

For those that want to really challenge themselves we also host a degree programme for students to complete their BA honours in Football Coaching and Community Development.

This past season saw us hit record numbers across our BFC Sports College, with almost 100 students on site, carving their craft and futures.

We also have many new developments coming very soon, for secondary schools and post 16, which we hope to share in the near future.

One being a new programme for NEET, delivered in partnership with the EFL Trust and the Youth Futures Foundation. Focused at 19-24 year olds we will work with those the furthest away from the employment market, who need additional support, prior to engaging in our Traineeship programme. This 20 week provision, starting in May, will work on participants confidence, build a new routine for them and also start to engage them in the thoughts of entering the employment or education world. We have been chosen as one of only six clubs in the country to deliver this programme and we’re really excited to support even more individuals on their path to a positive future.