It was National Careers Week last week, and Ospreys in the Community took part in a full programme of events across the Region.
OitC teamed up with long-term partners of the Ospreys, Swansea University, Bridgend College and Morganstone to host events.
On Friday, the Liberty Stadium was the venue for a mock job interview day on Friday where learners participating in the highly acclaimed TACKLE Programme were exposed to what is expected of them within a professional interview environment.
TACKLE includes a number of programmes are designed to work with disaffected young people, aged from 12-24, who are disengaged with school, education or employment, with the aim of to create a better future for young people facing tough challenges.
There are three distinct strands to TACKLE, the schools programme for 12-16 year olds, a traineeship programme working with 16-18 year olds not in education, training or employment and an employability programme aimed at 18-24 year olds, similarly not education, training or employment.
A new phase of the schools programme kicks off later this month, with over 100 children from the Region participating.
Dorian Evans, Employability Co-ordinator, Ospreys in the Community, said:
“TACKLE is a major strand of the work that we do at Ospreys in the Community. We link with education and careers partners to help these young people, giving them clear educational and personal development options.
“Our aim is to connect and inspire young people, using rugby and the power of the Ospreys brand as a tool of engagement, to help improve their self-confidence, school attainment and employability skills. Participation has been proven to work as a gateway to a better future for those taking part and we want to keep delivering, creating better people and better communities in our Region.”
HOW DOES TACKLE HELP PARTICIPANTS? - TACKLE CASE STUDIES
Jordan Davies, Deacon Coles & Kyle Bruton
• All three participated in the 2018 Summer Traineeship Programme in 2018, a six-week initiative to keep 16-year old learners engaged during their summer holidays, with the aim to get them in to education in September.
• They completed a Sports Leaders UK and First Aid Course, as well as completing workshops with the Police, Rugby Tots and the Ospreys media team, OitC Rugby Camp work experience, industry visits, and assistance in putting together CVs.
• They took part in a mock interview day with the likes of DVLA, TUI Neath Port Talbot College, University of Wales Trinity St David and the City & County of Swansea Youth Service.
• After completing the programme all three now study at Neath Port Talbot College, (Jordan on the Public Service course, Kyle & Deacon doing Building Craft Operations). They also all joined our voluntary pathway, completing 100 hours of volunteering through rugby camps, match days, club nights etc. and have recently been added to our list of paid staff members.
Deacon said: “I feel like since starting the programme with OitC last Summer and now I have developed so much. As a coach I am a lot more confident and comfortable, and so happy to be getting paid for something that I enjoy so much. I would definitely recommend doing a TACKLE programme and, if you like rugby like me, getting on the OitC voluntary pathway.”
• Tommy also attended our Summer Traineeship programme, however while on the programme Tommy had housing difficulties which resulted in him living in several different locations throughout the summer. That meant rather than attending each day, his goal was to attend as many days as possible and getting a broad range of experiences. OitC spoke to him on a daily basis, offering support and guidance where appropriate.
• Tommy’s story is about more than just the six-week summer programme. He has continued to be involved with Ospreys in the Community ,where and when possible, and he will attend Bridgend College from September after successfully getting through the interview process to commence a Horse Care Management Level 1 Course.
He said:“ I enjoyed being on the programme as rugby has been a big part of my life since I was 12. It’s helped me emotionally and helped with my confidence also, and working better with groups. Looking forward to the next step and starting College, the TACKLE programme has helped me greatly as it has allowed me to have a break from everyday life, OitC were always there to support me throughout the process.”
Jamie Whittaker & Mathew Williams
• Jamie and Matthew attended our Employability programme for 18-24 year olds which have so far taken place in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot, with another a Bridgend programme starting this Month.
• Jamie was unemployed for six months before joining our programme, but since completing the course just before Christmas he is been able to secure full-time employment . Our mentoring sessions with Jamie were focused on actively sitting down with him and discussing job adverts within his catchment and what he was keen to do.
• Mathew Williams is one of the most recent graduates of our Neath Port Talbot programme and, having been unemployed for six months he has grown in confidence and thanks to the skills developed via TACKLE, this week he commenced employment with McDonalds.
Matthew said: “OitC have been really helpful with me finding a job. Dorian and the team work hard to get to know everyone on the course. It’s been great for me to open my eyes and consider everything and given me more options to consider. I’ve really enjoyed things like the rugby camps, which I didn’t think I would. I’d like to, if possible, do a bit more of that around my new job if I can. I don’t consider myself a sporty person at all, but it’s helped so much”