Our apprenticeship programme, run in partnership with Richmond upon Thames College, offers young people who want to work in sports the opportunity to gain experience, qualifications and be paid at the same time! The last week of September saw the Harlequins Foundation’s newest apprentices starting their journey with us. We’re excited to welcome our newest apprentices into the Harlequins family, where they’ll learn all the skills needed to become a great coach from our own highly trained coaches.
We checked in with one of the new apprentices, Maddie, who recently finished a Kickstarter role with us as a PE assistant and is now looking to further her training to become a fully-fledged coach.
A good coach to Maddie is someone who’s “happy, energetic, trustworthy. You have to get close to the kids and show them that you’re there, and that you’re going to look after them.”
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic youth unemployment shot up to 13.1%, and claims made to Universal Credit more than tripled because of it. Having left her hospitality role during the pandemic and applying for Universal Credit Maddie reflects, “a year ago, with COVID, I never thought I’d be doing this. The Kickstarter scheme has really helped.”
Becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) can have a severe impact on an individual’s mental health and confidence as well as their ability to remain in employment going forward, and it’s our goal to make sure no young person in the Harlequins heartlands suffers because of it.
Our apprenticeship programme is just one of the ways we achieve this goal. It’s an 80/20 split between hands-on practical coaching experience and in-class learning all the skills and behaviours needed to become a great coach. So even from the get-go it’s the perfect opportunity to get active and gain professional skills at the same time.
Our apprentices will leave their training with a recognized sporting qualification, as well as the experience and confidence needed to be a great coach. Like all our successful apprentices, they’ll be trained in teamwork and leadership, speaking and listening, problem solving and creativity, and staying positive and aiming high – essential transferrable skills which can be applied to almost any part of our lives.
Best of luck to our new apprentices! We’ll be looking forward to seeing their talents as young coaches develop and flourish over the next year.