From education to employment

Trainees on the ball at Roots Hall

Trainees who helped prepare Southend United’s Roots Hall stadium for the start of the new League One season have graduated from their facilities management course.

Seven trainees completed their 100-hour placements at the club as part of a ten-week skills programme, run in conjunction with Essex-based education and skills organisation Seetec. They also gained a Level 1 award in facilities management, as well as the opportunity to boost their maths and English skills.

The club’s Facilities Management Academy is now recruiting its next cohort of trainees to start in September.

The trainees work alongside the Club’s facilities team to learn how to prepare and maintain the 12,392-seater stadium to ensure fans have a good match day experience.

Skills Team leader Chris Levitt from Seetec explained: “The group worked really hard painting and deep-cleaning the spectator areas, bars and kitchens, as well as helping to cut back overgrown plants and bushes to get the stadium and car park looking good for the start of the season.

“The young people also gained a City and Guilds qualification which covered health and safety, risk, hygiene, and an introduction to the use of machinery.”

Chris urged any young person interested in joining the next cohort of trainees, or exploring other opportunities for traineeships or apprenticeships, to come along to an Open Day at Seetec’s Basildon Office on Thursday 31 August.

Charlie Gardner, 20, from Basildon, completed the course, and his tutor Lindsay Rungasamy is now hoping to arrange an apprenticeship for him with a local builder. Charlie said: “I enjoyed working with the group and getting experience of painting and decorating work and drilling and fitting wall fixtures. I learned a lot of new skills.”

The trainees marked their graduation from the programme with a Go Karting session in Rayleigh on 23 August.

Southend United Head of Marketing, Rhys Ellingham, said: “The trainees really helped us to make sure the stadium was fit for purpose and it was in the condition needed ahead of the new season. It is an opportunity for them to get valuable working experience whilst also gaining qualifications, and they certainly put in the effort during their time with us, leaving Roots Hall looking great.

“We have over 190,000 spectators attend Southend United matches at Roots Hall Stadium throughout the season so making sure fans have a good match day experience is paramount, and the trainees play a key part in this.”

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