From education to employment

National Apprenticeship Week 2022: How SCL apprenticeship programmes at Charlton Athletic Community Trust are building the future

In partnership with SCL Professional and SCL Education, Charlton Athletic Community Trust delivers sports apprenticeships at both their Ashford and South East London sites.

SCL Professional, part of SCL Education Group, unlock potential and transform organisations using the power of apprenticeships, specialising in sports, leadership and management, business support and buying and merchandising.

SCL have worked with Charlton Athletic for over 6 years, delivering full time education programmes for 16-18 year olds, working together to positively impact hundreds of lives who may otherwise not be in education, employment or training.

Michael Ward, Head of Sports and Football Development for the Trust, shared his thoughts on the power of apprenticeships with the SCL team.

“Our apprentices work within our early help and prevention programme, delivering social inclusion, mentoring and working with people with disabilities. The aim of what we’re doing is getting apprentices into full time roles. We’re hiring up to six new apprentices in 2022, so that by the time 2024 rolls around, we’ve got good, educated young people who are focused on delivering the Charlton way.”

Michael joined Charlton Athletic at the beginning of his career as a football development coach, before taking a break to work abroad at football clubs in America and New Zealand. Michael explained that his passion for football and everything he’d learned at Charlton stayed with him, preparing him for a more senior role when he re-joined in 2017.

“I asked myself: how are we developing our young talent? The new coaches coming through at 16 or 17 year’s old want a career in sport and to work for a football club, but they aren’t sure how to get there. It was quite clear back when I got my coaching badge, but now there are so many opportunities, the water can be a little bit muddied. This apprenticeship programme makes the pathway clear: come in, work hard, get your further education. It’s a great opportunity for a full time job with a football club that will turn into a forever career.”

Apprenticeships don’t just build futures for Charlton Athletic apprentices through a rewarding career, but they also have a positive impact on crime levels in the community, by providing the opportunity to study and work.

Michael is passionate about sharing his story with young people to inspire them to pursue their dream of a career in sport, and encouraging apprentices to become advocates themselves:

“Our apprenticeship programmes include working with our mentoring, social inclusion and early help teams, going into estates in Greenwich, Bexleyheath and Ashford to deliver football and sports based sessions for young people in ball courts and local parks. Apprentices will have a positive impact there because they will be working with young people and sharing their journey. Our apprenticeships are full time, so they take young people away from the streets and encourage them to focus on the future.”

You can discover more about apprenticeships with SCL Professional and follow SCL Education Group and Michael Ward on LinkedIn.

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