Playing to their strengths

Arsenal in the Community recognised its ability to contribute to education and training three decades ago when the Club adopted the Government’s Action Sport programme; an initiative that supported the long term unemployed. Since then Arsenal in the Community have embraced many employment and training initiatives including the creation of a designated Employability training offer in 2011. Over the past three years, they have supported 300 people into work, with 80% of those staying in work for at least 12 weeks.

How have Arsenal made the most of their brand?

The club has used the unique connection that it has with its community to engage and offer employment support and guidance. Jack Ferguson, one of the Arsenal Employment Officers, regularly sees how people are persuaded by it. “The moment I say “Arsenal” is the moment that the employers are interested to start working with us.’ For young people, ‘the Arsenal name will get them through the door… and once they’re in, the quality of the training takes over, and they come back because they quickly realise they are getting something tangible from it”. However, Jack explains that despite their strong brand, the club doesn’t want to go it alone. They have partnered with a range of other organisations including Islington Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.

How have Arsenal created job opportunities for local people?

Arsenal deliver 12 week training programmes, to ensure that individuals on the scheme are committed and reliable before being offered routes into employment. During the programme the participants develop knowledge and understanding around: Interview Skills, Employment Rights and Responsibilities, Working with Colleagues and Managing Money. After this through close partnership working with employers; Arsenal are able to offer real job opportunities through a wide range of employers including their match day catering and cleaning contractors.

What about those clients that need extra help?

The employment team at Arsenal recognised that some of their clients might need a bit of extra support. Additional activities are put in place to challenge the barriers an individual may face before going in to employment. Foundation Level English and Maths classes are also available. Arsenal have devised a Community Action programme allowing participants to lead and deliver their own activities that benefits the community. Arsenal in the Community have also obtained their own Market Trading license selling Arsenal in the Community branded items. These activities allow participants to develop their skills in preparation for employment whilst also gaining practical work experience for their CV.

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