Four Community Sports Coaches have completed six-month job placement roles with Preston North End Community and Education Trust on the Kickstart scheme, all benefitting in a variety of ways.
David Berry, James Galt, Nicole Collins and Reece Howarth began their roles as Community Sports Coaches in April through the Kickstart scheme, which provides paid job opportunities for 18 to 24-year-olds accessing Universal Credit to support them in finding full-time employment.
Recruitment Fair Held At Deepdale Providing Local Employment Opportunities1 November 2021
As Community Sports Coaches, they have been able to support a wide variety of PNECET provision during the last six months, while developing their own personal skills to help them become more employable in the future.
All four staff members have become valuable additions to the Trust’s workforce and will now all follow different paths on their continued professional development journeys.
David Berry had been made redundant from a previous role due to the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic when he enrolled on the Kickstart scheme in April, and since then, he has been able to realise that he wants to pursue coaching as his future career.
As a result, he has enrolled on the Community Football Coaching and Development foundation degree programme, offered by PNECET in partnership with the EFL Trust and the University of South Wales, having not previously considered university as a viable option.
He said: “I found the past six months to be really informative and helpful because at the start I didn’t really know what I wanted to do in the future, I didn’t have any plans, I was just planning to work for the six months, get some experience under my belt and go back to working.
“I think I’ve become a lot more confident in terms of coaching. Before I came here I didn’t have much experience, so being able to coach and see how other coaches deal with sessions and problems was really helpful to me.
“I’ve developed my communication skills being able to talk to people, see how they are and what they think, how they enjoy the session and what they would have done differently.
“During these six months, I’ve found that this is the sort of thing I want to be doing long term, coaching, so I’m now on the career path and know what I want to become.
“It’s been able to support me and support my passion for coaching as it has grown. I’ve been able to get a broader horizon of the programmes that PNECET runs.”
Nicole Collins has also enjoyed the experience of working for PNECET and benefitted from various training opportunities as well as supporting community initiatives outside of the usual coaching hours.
She said: “It’s been enjoyable and I feel like I’ve learnt a lot working with all the different people on all different programmes.
“We’ve done our multi-skills qualification and been able to help out with initiatives such as Ramadan.
“I’ve improved my confidence and I’m better at delivering sessions. I’ve improved my knowledge in different areas.”
100 per cent of our Kickstart employees felt they improved and developed their technical skills, agreed that they developed their confidence and personal skills, agreed that they were made to feel welcome by all staff, and enjoyed the Kickstart scheme and would recommend the provision.
James Galt, who had previously volunteered with PNECET prior to starting the Kickstart role, found he developed well through the role.
“For the last six months it has been a very enjoyable time. I’ve learnt some new things that I hadn’t done whilst volunteering with PNE previously. It was a good experience.
“I think I’ve developed quite well because at the start I wasn’t very confident in knowing what to do. As a deaf person with a disability, I didn’t know how it would evolve with other people. I developed confidence slowly and progressed.”
Like James, Reece Howarth had also previously volunteered for PNECET – having come through the post-16 education programme.
He said: “It’s been a big benefit, I feel a lot more confident leading sessions and going out to different sessions.
“I’ve got to work on lots of different projects and do lots of different work with PNECET. It’s been really good and beneficial to my development.”
Head of Education Liam Sealey added: “We have been delighted to have had David, James, Nicole and Reece as part of our team in the last six months.
“They have become extremely valuable members of staff during this time and we are incredibly thankful for the contribution they have made to our projects in the last six months.
“We are pleased that they will be staying with us in a casual capacity to continue supporting our provision and we look forward to supporting them with their continued development.”
For more information about the Kickstart scheme, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or keep an eye on our vacancies page for more job placement roles through Kickstart in the future.