From education to employment

Employers to Provide Apprentices with the Required Work Experience

What could be more rewarding than someone taking the responsibility to address the career issues of school leavers entering the working world under-skilled and under-qualified?

SkillsActive, the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for sport and active leisure, is seeking to tackle just that issue. They have announced the launch of a young apprenticeship programme for the sporting sector, targeting 14 to 16 year olds. The primary aim of the programme will be to make learning more flexible and meet the individual needs of the students.

Young apprenticeships come with a fantastic opportunity to develop the future workforce of a sector and ensure that the skills gained lead to further professional improvement and the growth of the sector. SkillsActive’s entry to the workforce manager, Steve Mitchell, said: “The initiative takes nothing away from the national curriculum and the students will continue to work three days a week on core subjects.”

Steve Mitchell stressed that this would promote greater choice for young people. “It’s aimed at those students wanting to gain a vocational qualification and gives them more options when they make their FE or 6th Form choices, or decide to enter a career at 16,” he said. When employers across the sector find it difficult to recruit new staff, as they do not have previous work experience and skills, these young apprenticeships provide the future employees with the necessary experience for the job of their choice.

Working Closely with Sports Partners

SkillsActive is coordinating two pilot schemes within selected specialist colleges, each focusing on different employment areas within the sector. For instance, Dorothy Stringer Specialist Sports College in Brighton and Hove will concentrate on Sport Operational Services, and a partnership of Benjamin Britten Specialist Technology College, The Denes Business and enterprise Specialist Sports College, and Lowestoft College FE in North Suffolk will focus on Sports Coaching and Development.

Both pilots have set up close relationships with local employers who will provide the apprentices with the required work experience. Companies involved include, British Triathlon, Ipswich Town Football Club, Fit for All, and a variety of local sports centres.

So the next time sector employers report “hard to fill” vacancies, SkillsActive could involve a wide variety of the sectors employer’s within the training of their future staff, subsequently increasing the investment made by employers in developing the skills needed across the sector’s workforce.

Aakriti Kaushik

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