Blackpool FC Community Trust column: Traineeship programme can change people's lives for the better

Blackpool FC Community Trust’s latest traineeship programme commenced last week.

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 4:45 pm

One of the recent students was 17-year-old Ian from Hull who had a very difficult early life with challenging circumstances.

He was expelled from school in Hull and hadn’t been in full-time education for three years.

He moved to Blackpool on a deprivation of liberty safeguard order in December 2019.

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Ian suffered with mental health problems and, as a result of this, he has been sectioned in the past which led to finding himself in trouble with the police.

Ian’s state of mind was poor before coming on the course, having had a bad attitude towards education and no plans to move into education or employment.

However, he enrolled on the Trust’s traineeship programme, aimed at young people aged 16-24 who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) and require support to gain employment.

The programme is a 12-week course covering functional skills English and Maths, as well as a range of employability units including health and safety at work and first aid at work.

The course also develops learners’ work readiness where they write and develop CVs, complete application forms and practice interview techniques.

As a result of the course, learners are able to build their CVs with new skills and qualifications.

Ian’s cohort has had a challenging traineeship because of Covid-19.

The cohort was suspended due to the lockdown and the learners had to continue their course online.

This proved testing for the group but Ian continued to engage on the course in lockdown and arrived early at the football club in September when the course restarted in person.

The main aspect of the programme is work placement, as all learners are required to complete a placement of two days a week during the course.

The Community Trust works with a wide range of employers in Blackpool to provide a meaningful and quality experience for trainees.

Working in a placement helps to build confidence and eases the learner into employment.

After successfully completing the course, trainees will have gained valuable industry experience and developed key skills required for employment.

In Ian’s case, the course has had a massive impact as he was very shy at the beginning of the course and unsure of his own skills.

As the weeks progressed, Ian developed into a confident young man and has been helping less confident trainees on the course.

Ian didn’t think he would be able to complete any course, so fulfilling the 12 weeks has been a huge achievement for him.

He said: “I feel more positive and confident about myself and I feel like I’m going to progress.”

Ian has successfully completed all elements of the traineeship, having undertaken his work placement at Redeeming Our Communities.

ROC is a charity, whose main focus in Blackpool is to support vulnerable residents with their garden maintenance and developing communal gardens within some of the most deprived areas in Blackpool.

James Baker from ROC said: “Ian has got a lot of skills and potential. He has demonstrated leadership and problem-solving skills on his placement.

“Ian has worked extremely hard whilst working at ROC.”

Ian is now moving back to Hull to live closer to his family and, upon completion of the traineeship, he is starting an apprenticeship in construction.

He had no ambition prior to completing the traineeship, so for him to secure a place on a construction apprenticeship represents a major step forward.

Ian’s future is looking a lot brighter than he thought possible just 12 weeks ago and he is looking forward to reconnecting with his family.

Traineeship programme tutor Tom Goulding said: “The progress Ian has made and the distance he has travelled on the traineeship have been amazing.

“Ian has had a difficult start and he has made some poor decisions.

“The traineeship has really supported him and set him on a path towards permanent employment.

“Ian has started on an apprenticeship in Hull, a progression unimaginable before the traineeship.”

Ian added: “I thought I was going to be on the dole.

“I just want to say a huge thank you for everything you have helped me with. Without your help, I wouldn’t have come this far.”

We are always on the lookout to work with other local businesses, so if you think you could help support a member of our community, please get in touch.

For more information, call 01253 348691, follow BFCCT on social media or visit

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