The Reds’ official charity, LFC Foundation, has teamed up with regeneration group Regenda and training provider The Learning Foundry to provide those in deprived areas of the Liverpool City Region with key employability skills.
Sport Works is a new two-year programme funded by the Premier League and Professional Footballers’ Association Community Fund (PLPFA) and the Regenda Group, which will target three of the most deprived areas in the Liverpool City Region – Toxteth, Garston and Birkenhead – to offer key employability support and career pathways in sport using the ethos and values of Liverpool Football Club.
The programme will provide 45 young people with a six-month paid work placement utilising the government’s Kickstart Scheme – a support initiative that provides 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit and those at risk of long-term unemployment with the opportunity to gain experience and get paid for it. Each work placement will be provided by Liverpool Football Club, LFC Foundation and the Regenda Group.
Participants will be referred onto the Sport Works programme through Job Centre Plus, who will verify that they claim Universal Credit and are eligible for the Kickstart Scheme before they can apply for a Kickstart vacancy.
LFC Foundation will also support traineeships delivered by The Learning Foundry to offer participants an alternative route on to the Sport Works programme and into apprenticeships or other routes to employment.
Matt Parish, director of LFC Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be working alongside the Regenda Group on our new Sports Work programme to offer key employability support to those in need within the Liverpool City Region’s most deprived areas.
“By providing work placements within the Foundation, we hope to give young people the opportunity to develop their skillset, learn a new trade and follow their desired career path – whatever it may be.
“We also hope that by offering our support on various community projects and equality and diversity sessions, that participants will be able to use the knowledge and confidence gained to further enhance their chances of securing full-time employment.”
Michael Birkett, CEO of the Regenda Group, added: “The Regenda Group are proud to be working in partnership with LFC Foundation, LFC and The Learning Foundry. By working together, our aim is to provide a range of ways that will help equip young people with the skills, experience and confidence they need to realise their full potential.”
Joanne Abraham, MD of The Learning Foundry, training provider and intermediary of the government Kickstart scheme, said: “Statistics by the Centre for Cities show the number of young people claiming benefits have nearly doubled, compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic. At The Learning Foundry our aim is to unlock talent and help people into employment. Each person who attends a placement or course through us will be guided every step of the way to achieve their goals and ready to secure, not just any job, a great job!”
Liverpool FC U23s player Abdi Sharif, who hails from Liverpool 8, joined representatives of the programme to celebrate the partnership and said: “It’s been great to hear about the new Sport Works programme. Young people need this kind of support to help them achieve their potential and I’m proud to see that opportunities like this are being made available in our local communities.
“When I hear about some of the skills that participants will develop, I can really identify with what they’ll be learning. They’ll learn about the ‘Liverpool Way’ and the values that you take on when you are part of Liverpool Football Club. I like to think that I have developed these values and that they have helped me overcome some challenges, particularly in helping me find the discipline and resilience to come back from a serious injury.
“I can’t wait to meet the participants on the programme and share their journey with the LFC Foundation team.”
A two-year grant of £120,000 from the PLPFA Community Fund will be supported with £20,000 of match funding and in kind support from the Regenda Group.
All participants will be supported through the programme with support sessions and progress reviews delivered by both LFC Foundation and The Learning Foundry.
Interested? You are eligible if you are aged between 16-24 and your only income is Universal Credit. Speak to your work coach at your local Job Centre about the Kickstart Programme at the LFC Foundation or find out more via The Learning Foundry’s website: www.thelearningfoundry.co.uk.