Preston North End and Preston’s College have entered into a training agreement to enhance the Football Club’s Level two and Level three training programmes for the 2016/17 academic year.
The courses will be led by former PNE midfielder Graeme Atkinson along with a team of dedicated staff with experience in both coaching and teaching. Atkinson played over 85 games for the Lilywhites between 1994 and 1998, helping Preston to the old third division title in the 1995/96 campaign.
Based at Deepdale Stadium, the programmes will provide school leavers with the option to continue their further education in a professional football club setting whilst still gaining a recognised qualification that could progress them into employment or onto university.
As well as various progression routes into full-time employment and university courses within the sport and leisure industry, students who complete the course are also able to progress on to the Trust’s Foundation Degree.
The trust offers a two-year long Foundation Degree in Community Football Coaching and Development, allowing them to prolong their education whilst still being able to access the exclusive work experience and first class facilities that only a professional football club can offer.
Andy Haythornthwaite, Head of Community at Preston North End, said: “We’re delighted to have Preston’s College as a key partner so that we can continue to deliver our unique and bespoke programmes.
“Due to the number of people involved in our course, we are able to provide a much more holistic approach to teaching and learning and our partnership with Preston’s College means we are able to share each other’s resources to the benefits of our students.
“Students that study with us gain a real first-hand experience of life inside a professional football club. This experience can be the difference between moving onto higher education and or a profession. Our students can also enjoy the experience of wearing the club badge and representing the club against other football league clubs as part of a rich games programme.”
Talking about the partnership, Dr Lis Smith, principal and chief executive at Preston’s College, added: “Both Preston’s College and Preston North End each play a vital role for young people in the local community. This new partnership demonstrates how education and sport can work together to provide 16-18-year-olds with a quality education experience in a unique training environment.”
There are still a limited number of places available on courses starting this week. Regardless of your GCSE results, or if you have opted for another course or College, please get in touch to find out more information about studying with us if you are interested. For more information, contact the club’s community department on 01772 693309 or email Education@pne.com.