As we approach the Easter break and head towards the final term of the academic year, ESPFA students have been trying their hand at various work experience opportunities whilst also completing their final units in class.
In the ESPFA’s learner study programme, each student is expected to undertake a minimum number of hours work experience hours per academic year. We recognise how important these activities are to not only build personal skills such as communication, responsibility and problem-solving, but also to expose our learners to potential future careers that they may want to progress onto after their time with us. Head of quality for the ESPFA, Tom Gould explains how the students have been undertaking their work experience. He said: “We have had students volunteer at their respective clubs, helping out at specific events such as Bonfire Night, as well as first team match days. This allows our students to experience working with the general public and help develop their customer and 'people' skills, as well as how to plan and host events from an operational perspective. More specifically and related to football, we have had some of our students working with our football coaches in their roles outside of the ESPFA. Many of our coaches have their own coaching businesses and/or work at the club in the junior sections, with some of our students going down to assist the coaches in the delivery of football sessions to the younger generation on an evening basis.”
Alongside the opportunity to step out of the classroom and gain experience that way, the students have also received visits from the ESPFA media team to try their hand at digital aspects of the footballing world. Gould said that this was a valuable learning experience for the student: “We have recently had our media team going out to clubs and conducting a 'media day' with our students. Exposure to match analysis, photography, video production and sports journalism are all activities our students have experienced with our fantastic media team and these days have been well-received with the feedback. I know what a brilliant job our media team does and for them to be able to pass on their knowledge and experiences to the students, it really is invaluable.” #ESPFACheshire student Zach Billinge has been involved in one of those media days at his clubs and acknowledges the importance of gaining a broader range of experience. He said: “So far I have taken part in journalism and analysis. I think it’s important to take work experience as it can improve your knowledge on new topics, and you can learn new things you might be interested in perusing a career in.”
As the academic year comes into its remaining weeks, students are working hard throughout the academies to complete their remaining coursework and units. Mark Baker, the head of programme at the ESPFA shares with us what the student’s will be working towards in their final weeks of the year: The Year 1 students will continue work on Unit C1, which involves the planning/delivery and evaluation of coaching sessions, coupled with beginning Unit A Careers in Sport and Active Leisure. The Year 2 students' focus revolves around completion of Unit D1 applying learnt coaching skills, alongside starting Unit 11 Rules, Regulations and Officiating in Sport. The practical element of many of the remaining units, should see an enjoyable finish to the year, hopefully out in the sunshine!”
We are pleased with the students getting involved in extracurricular work experience and showing the desire to try and broaden their horizons outside of the classroom. We can’t wait to see how the academic year turns out and we want to thank all of the students, tutors and coaches for all their hard work so far this year.