Sheffield Wednesday FC Community Programme Launches New Programme to Help Young People Find Employment

Written by SWFC Community Programme

Sheffield Wednesday is one of six EFL Football Clubs are part of an exciting new programme which will provide 18-24 year olds with the key skills and experience to find employment.

The EFL Trust’s Training Ground programme is part of a new partnership with the Youth Futures Foundation that will target young people that are really struggling to get a foothold in the workplace. The initiative is aimed at 18-24 years olds that are furthest from the workplace and will help participants by enabling them to take on new education, employment or training opportunities leading to long term career progression.

Adrian Tallon, EFL Trust’s Head of Education and Employability said. “This is a unique opportunity for young people to overcome barriers and unlock their potential.  They will be supported through our Training Ground programme which takes a holistic approach to employment. The programme provides practical support and training, alongside mentoring and wellbeing activities that will increase the confidence and overall wellbeing of participants.”

The Youth Futures Foundation was established to find, fund, support and evaluate programmes which help young people to move into meaningful work. Unemployment amongst 16-24-year olds is currently four times as high as any other age group; those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds face the biggest challenge in getting a job.

Youth Futures Foundation’s Chief Executive, Anna Smee, commented: ‘We are delighted to support EFL Trust’s Training Ground Programme. Youth Futures Foundation is committed to a society where all young people have equitable access to good quality jobs, by identifying ‘what works’, investing in good practice and initiating new ways of working – to ignite systems change. This partnership will support our ambitions and help to deliver our vision.’

The Training ground programme presents an opportunity to gain accredited skills and qualifications combined with increased personal development, culminating in work placement. Additional support will be provided throughout by a dedicated mentor and a targeted health and wellbeing programme. Skills wise the programme will include the development of English & maths functional skills, digital skills, health & safety, money management and customer services. The programme will also include workshops covering personal development areas such as resilience, interpersonal and employability skills as well as improving the participant’s physical and mental health.

One young person who has already benefitted from a similar EFL Trust Employability programme is Jamie from Sheffield. Before Jamie attended the 12 week traineeship programme with Sheffield Wednesday FC Community Programme, he was unemployed and always at home feeling isolated, lacked confidence and had low self-esteem. As part of the traineeship he successfully passed vocational qualifications and undertook a work placement at FoodWorks. Subsequently Jamie successfully gained employment with FoodWorks.

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SWFC Traineeships

Sheffield Wednesday Community Programme is also recruiting for its next cohort of traineeships.

An information session is being held on Monday 1 March if you would like to find out more.


Traineeships are aimed at preparing individuals who are currently not in education, employment or training (NEET), for future careers by helping them become work-ready. Traineeships are open to anyone who is NEET. The two programmes which are run, depend on the age of individuals, there are currently a 19-24 year old programme and a 25+ year old programme.

Traineeships last for 13-weeks, with content tailored to individuals career needs. They offer:-

Work preparation training — giving individuals the skills and confidence needed to move into future employment, education or training.

Skills you need to find a job — employers are at the centre of traineeships, so they focus on individuals skills and future success in employment.

Maths and English support — developing skills up to, and inclusive of, Level 2 Functional Skills. Maths and English are vital to employers and career progressions.

Work experience — gaining an insight into work, an employer reference, and potential to an exit interview (or even a job interview if a role becomes available).

An improved CV — traineeships give individuals great experience both practically and on paper. This experience and training will no doubt enhance an individual’s CV.