From education to employment

Boxing and Rugby Legends Work with SkillsActive to Launch Major New Training Scheme in Yorks

A brand new learning scheme designed to offer support to employees working within the fields of boxing and rugby union is being launched across Yorkshire this week.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) funded programme aims to encourage those involved in the sports to find out more about further education and improve their literacy, language and numeracy skills. The GMB union (in partnership with SkillsActive, the Sector Skills Council [SSC] for the sports and leisure industry) submitted a bid to the TUCs Learning Fund for £400,000. This was successful and has allowed the Conversion to Learning programme to be implemented.

Offering Information

The courses available will offer a wide range of information and resources on learning and skills development. The training material and ideas that form the backbone of this programme will hopefully remain in place within the region for the benefit of future athletes and workers with a background in these activities.

SkillsActive’s regional development manager for Yorkshire and Humber said: “Winning the bid is excellent news for the Yorkshire and Humber region. The “Conversion to Learning” programme is based around two of the most popular sports in the region, boxing and rugby league, and encourages people working with clubs, in both a voluntary and paid capacity, to improve their basic skills.

“Boxing and rugby league attract people from all communities, who haven”t necessarily been fully engaged in education and training. With the government’s ongoing emphasis on improving skills the programme is an excellent opportunity to help people improve their literacy, numeracy and other skills through sport, which will help improve their day-to-day lives.”

Tailoring Provision

Specifically the projects will work alongside colleges and other training providers to provide tailor made, structured learning plans for people working within these sports. Programmes will be made available to all people involved in clubs including coaches, judges, ground staff, office workers and referees alike.

SkillsActive chief executive, Stephen Studd, discussed the benefits of using these popular regional sports to promote lifelong learning. He said: “I am really pleased about securing the bid for the Yorkshire and Humber area. It’s great to use the popularity of both boxing and rugby league to encourage young people and adults to improve their skills and transform their lives both at home and at work. Working with sports clubs is a great way to reach out to people who might otherwise feel awkward about returning to learning. We hope this programme will help people realise that it’s never too late to learn as an adult.”

The programme was launched yesterday (on Wednesday 31st May 2006) at the Leeds Hilton. The scheme is backed by some of boxing and rugbys finest players, who were happy to offer their support to this project. Former Featherweight Champion Barry McGuigan and WBA Welterweight Champion Ricky Hatton were present for the launch as well as rugby league player Dean Bell.

Mark Feakes, Sports Education Correspondent

From the Monkey’s Mouth ““ right here in From the FE Trenches!

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