From education to employment

Student reaches for the top of his game against all odds

Harry Yorke (23) has turned his life around following a 12-week traineeship with Charlton Athletic Football Club in partnership with London South East Colleges, which has led to a lucrative apprenticeship opportunity with Newham College as their new Women’s Football Team Coach.

Harry’s success follows a difficult period in which he was working in a string of unskilled jobs, experienced the loss of his mother and underwent a period as primary carer for his father who suffered a life-threatening illness.

Now working towards an FA Level 2 Coaching Award as well as a Sports Leadership Level 3 Certificate, Harry is also studying GCSE English and maths. He says:

“It’s a very busy time for me but I’m really enjoying the whole experience and feel like it’s taking me somewhere,” he says, “I owe so much to Charlton Athletic and my fabulous tutor Kate who has helped me turn my life around.

“Just a year ago, I was travelling around South East Asia after saving up my wages from being a kitchen porter for so long. During my travels, I was wondering what I would do when I returned to London. I knew I couldn’t go back to menial work, I had to find something that would give me a career.

“I am now working towards something very valuable in terms of gaining work experience, learning new skills and gaining knowledge in sports leadership and coaching. The staff here at my new workplace have been very welcoming and it’s great to be part of a very eager and dynamic student enrichment team.

“In the future, I would like to develop this role further and continue working with young people in academy coaching. I simply want to give something back.”

Sport, particularly football, has always been Harry’s chief passion in life. He was his school’s football team captain and as part of his traineeship was given the chance to volunteer in a series of sporting youth work experiences as well as receiving lessons in CV writing, job interview practice, communications and core skills.

Traineeship Course leader at London South East Colleges, Emma Tissiman, says:

“Harry is a great example of someone who has turned his life around with a traineeship and apprenticeship. His hard work, dedication and enthusiasm for football is paying off and he is set for an exciting career. We wish him the very best.”

 London South East Colleges offers a wide range of traineeship and apprenticeship opportunities spanning many industries; from construction, engineering, sports and leisure to hairdressing, dental nursing and many more. For more information call the team on 020 8295 7070.

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