From education to employment

Working with West Ham United women to mark International Women’s Day

Apprenticeships specialist Seetec Group marked International Women’s Day with a visit to West Ham United women’s team to meet journalism apprentice Mitch Waddon, who has been working with the players to promote and engage with social issues affecting women.

Seetec Director Alison Bunney and Essex-based management apprentice Claire Illingworth, who were taking part in a job swap for the day, met Mitch and members of the women’s team (pictured).

Group Business Development Director Alison said: “Equality of opportunity is central to Seetec and we are keen to show how apprenticeships play a vital role in enabling career progression. It was great to see the way the women’s team is flourishing and to talk to Mitch about how his apprenticeship is helping him to take his skills to the next level.”

Lifelong West Ham United fan Mitch, a graduate with previous journalism experience, joined the club’s content team in August 2017, and is undertaking a two-year apprenticeship to develop his video production and social media skills.

Mitch said: “Before I joined, my knowledge of women’s football was limited but I was asked to promote the women’s team to help their growth and development.”

The women’s team successfully joined the Women’s Super League and turned professional for the 2018-19 season and Mitch took on the vital role of promoting new players and their matches.

“I’m really proud to have worked with the team, it’s been a really interesting journey and I feel so invested in their success,” he said. “I know more about the women’s team than the men now!”

To mark International Women’s Day, Mitch worked with players on raising awareness of women’s issues. Through the Players’ Project, the club’s innovative community programme, women players partnered with a local homelessness charity to address period poverty, others attended an awareness course to campaign against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and a group addressed sexist tweets sent to the club.

Alison Bunney added: “Apprenticeships offer incredible variety, from Mitch’s journalism to Claire’s management, and give employers and employees the opportunity to benefit, from entry level to graduate-level and beyond.”

Claire Illingworth, who works in Seetec’s People Development Team, is a graduate and was keen to undertake her Level 5 Operational Management apprenticeship to develop her project management skills and leadership style. Claire said: “I have been working with the Institute of Employability Professionals to develop the Apprenticeship Standard for people working in employability and skills.

“It has been a great opportunity to practice what I preach, so I can explain the benefits of apprenticeships first-hand.”

The job swap also formed part of Seetec’s National Apprenticeship Week activities.

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