It is World Youth Skills Day on Saturday, marking an awareness campaign from the United Nations to highlight the importance of equipping young people with skills that can lead to employment and entrepreneurship.
The theme for this year’s day is to skill teachers, trainers and young people to aim for a transformative future.
And that fits perfectly with the work of Wolves Foundation staff to help young people deliver lifelong learning and skills to participants, a key part of the charity’s overall ethos, across its wide-ranging education programme.
The Foundation already have educational opportunities available for post-16 and post-18 with the very successful BTEC and university degree programmes offering a pathway to qualifications and employment.
Now, thanks to two other initiatives, Wolves’ official charity are able to extend their potential employability options with a couple of new opportunities.
First of all, a link-up with the UK Youth charity and KFC on the ‘Hatch’ project provides workshops and paid work experience placements for young people aged from 16 to 25.
Then there is the Wolf Track Community Coaching programme, funded by the City of Wolverhampton Council, with work-based learning and volunteering opportunities amongst the incentives available to help 18 to 24 year-olds from the city move towards a career in coaching.
Going back to Hatch, the project aims to provide young people with work-based learning alongside employability workshops to help develop their personal and professional skills.
It is open to those young people who are not in education, employability or training (NEET), or at risk of being so.
“The idea is that the young people spend some time with us at Molineux on a mix of employability training and fun workshops, usually a couple of two-hour sessions each week,” explains Brad Moore, senior education officer with Wolves Foundation.
“Within those sessions it is all about aiming higher, building a CV, developing their employability skills and how to act in the workplace.
“After that they can head over to a KFC store where they will have a paid job for 16 hours a week for four weeks.
“From there they are guaranteed an interview, and so, if they impress, there is the opportunity to carry that placement into the prosect of full-time work.”
With Wolf Track, it is again open to young people who are NEET, with a variety of opportunities all designed to help move towards a career in coaching or, in some cases, to consider joining the Foundation’s degree programme.
“This is a new and really exciting programme which is aimed at helping people move into a career in coaching and sport,” adds Brad.
“Participants spend some time doing coaching workshops with the Foundation which are introductory modules, and can then look for a work placement either with us here, maybe at a grass roots team, or shadowing coaches and watching them deliver practices.
“It’s all about preparing a grounding for coaching, and the opportunity to complete the Introduction To Coaching Football qualification, which used to be the FA’s Level 1.
“Wolf Track is a great option for people who aren’t initially keen on the education route, or are struggling to find employment, as it gives them the chance to do a short-term course which can help them move towards one of those areas.”