FA Women’s Football Apprentices begin their journey

The latest cohort of FA Women’s Football Apprentices have been welcomed at a three-day training event at Warwick University.

It was the first time the 16 chosen apprentices have come together and were introduced to their roles and their personal development journey. Last year’s apprentices also took part, feeding back on their journey and taking part in group activities.

What is the FA Women’s Football Apprentice training programme?

The FA Women’s Football Apprentice programme is run by the ECFA (English Colleges FA), AoC Sport’s football delivery arm, in partnership with The FA.

The apprentices are recruited as part of The FA’s Women’s Football Strategy, ‘The Gameplan for Growth’ and are employed by colleges, working through AoC Sport.

The programme aims to boost student employability while supporting The FA in doubling female participation. Each apprentice is tasked with engaging 100 new female participants and 10 new female leaders, with tailored inclusion and diversity targets.

The key focus is on developing apprentices’ personal behaviours via a bespoke personal development compass and behaviour framework. Apprentices have access to a varied Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme including webinars, an online hub and training days. 

What did the training days involve?

  • The apprentices were introduced to their role and their remit of encouraging more girls to participate in football.
  • Workshops with the FA’s women’s national development manager plus a guest appearance from Lioness Rachel Unitt
  • There were personal development workshops as well as a variety of team-building activities
  • Speakers from The FA, AoC Sport etc
  • The Media Group also run a practical workshop on producing and filming a short video as part of a communications seminar.

Grace McCatty, National Women’s Football Development Officer said: “It was fantastic to bring all of the new cohort of FA Women’s Football Apprentices together for a three-day orientation.

“This event provided us with a great opportunity to really kick-start the new academic year, supporting the apprentices to understand their role better, plan for delivery back in their own colleges and inspire them as they begin their bespoke journey of personal and professional development.

“The FA Women’s Football Apprentice programme is really important to us, in both supporting the FA in doubling female participation but also in developing our future football workforce.

“A huge thank you must go to the volunteer navigators, the ECFA Football Development Team and external guests, including Clare Daniels, Selena Creighton LTD, The Media Group, Jenna Burke and Rachel Unitt, who without their input, time and expertise the event wouldn’t have been possible.”

What the apprentices said:

Skye Smith from Hartpury College said: “Working towards the goal of getting more girls into football would be something I would happily do as a hobby, so being able to put it into a job is something I’m really excited to do.”

Find out more about the scheme HERE

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