Skills For The Future and Business in the Community entrant – Staffordshire FA
Staffordshire Football Association reignited its apprenticeship scheme post-pandemic and now has two apprentices that are helping to futureproof its workforce.
The governing body for grassroots football across Staffordshire, Staffordshire FA supports a network of more than 40,000 people and 500 clubs. It has more than 8,000 volunteers and 850 officials with an employed team of just 15 people at its Stafford HQ.
The two youngest members of staff are apprentices Joe Davidson and John McGirr, who study with Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group.
Gareth Thomas, Commercial and Partnerships Lead at Staffordshire FA, said: “The recruitment of staff who meet the values of the Association had become particularly challenging, and a new approach was required to recruit individuals who were passionate about the work carried out at Staffordshire FA – which is sometimes the less glamourous, but equally important, behind-the-scenes side of working in grassroots sport.
“From the senior management team and across the entire workforce, all members of staff have fully embraced the opportunity presented by the apprenticeship programme, with staff individually upskilling the apprentices around their own respective work programmes, which has not only resulted in both apprentices gaining a board range of skills and knowledge, but has also resulted in all staff becoming more efficient as they are able confidently assign important tasks to our new members of the team. “
Both apprentices are now working front of house, alongside their college courses in Business Administration and Customer Service Practice, and are often the first point of contact for people calling or visiting Staffordshire FA.
Gareth added: “The successful outcomes from our apprenticeship programme are great credit to not only Joe and John, but also the whole team at Staffordshire FA who have fully committed to the ongoing training, development and upskilling of our two apprentices.
“With the ongoing support and in-house training from Staffordshire FA, coupled with the external support provided by the Newcastle and Stafford Colleague Group, our apprenticeship programme is a great example of developing bespoke skills for the future to benefit Staffordshire FA and subsequently local grassroots football.”
Staffordshire FA has entered the Skills For the Future and Business in the Community category of the Staffordshire University Business Awards.