Blackpool FC Community Trust column: BBC spotlight shines on our programmes

This past week has seen a lot of discussion around how the country will tackle unemployment.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 4:45 pm

New data released shows that we have never had more of our young people, aged between 16 and 24, without jobs.

Because of all the work Blackpool FC Community Trust are now doing in this sector, we featured in a BBC News story, talking about the provision we deliver to tackle this issue.

We discussed a host of programmes we deliver to help young people on their path and to help them find new pathways to a successful career.

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Helping young people to a brighter future is a key goal of Blackpool FC Community Trust
Helping young people to a brighter future is a key goal of Blackpool FC Community Trust

We started by discussing our new High School Hubs model, which places a member of our team in every secondary school in Blackpool to support students with mental health and resilience.

BFCCT deliver a number of other programmes to schools, including PL Inspires, which focuses on supporting pupils to prepare mentally for the pressures of GCSE exams.

Moving on from school, we have a large post-16 offer to support young people at many points in understanding their next steps.

For those classed as NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training), we deliver a very successful Traineeship provision for 16-24s.

This involves working with individuals for 12 weeks on employability skills, maths, English and digital skills, and also provides a 24-day work placement linked to an area they may like to progress in.

Despite the pandemic, 60 per cent of last year’s participants progressed into full-time work.

For those who know they would like a career in sport and leisure, we have the BFC Sports College.

Here, students post-16 are enrolled on to full-time BTEC Level 2 and 3 courses in sport and coaching.

Students attend our Bloomfield Road facility to learn and experience the sector, while also engaging in an enrichment programme that includes representing Blackpool FC in the national EFL Colleges league. Students can also engage in our sports coaching academy and sharpen their skills even more.

We also host a degree programme for students to complete their BA honours in Football Coaching and Community Development.

This past season saw us hit record numbers across BFC Sports College, with almost 100 students on site, developing their craft and building for their future.

We also have many new developments planned for secondary schools and post-16s, which we hope to share in the near future.

One we can mention now is a new programme for NEET, delivered in partnership with the EFL Trust and the Youth Futures Foundation.

On this programme we will work with those aged 19-24 who are furthest away from the employment market and need additional support prior to engaging in our Traineeship programme.

This 20-week provision, starting in May, will work on participants’ confidence, build a new routine for them and start to engage them with a view to entering the employment or education world.

We have been chosen as one of only six clubs in the country to deliver this programme and we’re really excited to support even more individuals on their path to a positive future.

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