Employability Programme Making An Impact

FIGURES published by market research portal Statista show the unemployment rate of people aged between 16-24 is 3% higher (14.3) in the north east when compared to the national average. We’re doing something to try and combat that.

While not the highest in the country, the North East ranks third in a nine-region study, with London (16.7) and the East (15.9) top of the list.

In the past twelve months MFC Foundation has assisted 55 individuals in Teesside into employment and we’re committed to building on that number.

But this isn’t a numbers game. We’re talking about people. Unemployment is more than a lack of work. The longer a person is unemployed there are potential additional negative issues which can include a significant impact on a person’s health leading to both physical and mental wellbeing concerns and a negative impact in their community.

Equally, decreased income impacts on the wider economy of a region.

We’re determined to make a positive impact, just as we did with a young man called Brandan.

Like thousands of youngsters on Teesside, for as long as he can remember Brandan had a love of football.

So when he reached 16 and time to choose a career pathway, something sport related seemed the obvious choice for someone who had always favoured practical over academic studies.

Brandan had struggled socially in a school environment and soon after he had enrolled at Middlesbrough College where he was to study sport, he was quickly strangled through a lack of confidence. Anxiety kicked in and he left.

For a while it seemed that all hope of reaching his goals had been dashed and he didn’t know who to turn to.

It was during this period of uncertainty that Brandan saw a poster advertising our Get Into Football Programme. Delivered by our employability team, the programme funded by the Prince’s Trust offers young people an insight into what it’s like working in the football industry.

Experienced professionals share tips and experiences, often putting on coaching sessions which highlight good practice. This is backed up by our employability team who help participants develop their employability skills and help them look for and secure opportunities within the industry.

Brandan was invited to participate in BeLeave, a scheme set up by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council to support college leavers yet to secure their next education or employment opportunity.

Again he worked with our employability team, working on a pathway along which his strengths were highlighted, alongside areas of development which increased his self-belief.

He became a regular at our PL Kicks sessions, observing Foundation staff and playing football in a controlled environment. Staff recommended the FA’s Leadership programme to him and in May this year he was accepted onto it.

He continues to participate in PL Kicks sessions, often given responsibilities of picking teams, refereeing games and organising equipment.

Rachael McKinnell, MFC Foundation’s Lead Tutor observed: “When Brandan first came to us, it was clear he had issues with confidence. He would barely look up and found eye contact uncomfortable.

“Through a range of activities and allowing him to achieve things out of his comfort zone, he has got himself to a stage where he actively seeks opportunities and can see himself having a career in football.”

If you would like to know more about our employability programmes, e-mail Rachael at rachael.mckinnell@mfcfoundation.co.uk