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

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.


Youth Futures Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit organisation established with a £90m endowment from the Reclaim Fund to tackle youth unemployment. Our vision is of a society where all young people have equitable access to good quality jobs. We aim to achieve this by identifying ‘what works’ to inform policy and practice, investing in proven approaches and evaluation via our grants programme and initiating new ways of working to ignite systems change. Young people are at the heart of our work with charities, local authorities, social enterprises, employers and government to help those who face the greatest disadvantage and discrimination to access and progress into meaningful work. For more information visit and follow us on Twitter @YF_Foundation

Watch Jamie’s video to see how SWFC employability programme’s helped him

Read Jamie’s Full Story here

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