An innovative new work programme which uses sport to increase employment opportunities for young people is to be launched in South Yorkshire.
It has been developed by South Yorkshire Sport and Job Centre Plus who are working with four professional football clubs in the region to deliver the pilot scheme.
Job seekers aged between 18 and 21 years old can sign up for the eight-week programme, which starts on March 18.
Those who register will be expected to take part in up to four hours of sport a week with community teams at Doncaster Rovers, Barnsley or Sheffield United in return for a Sport Leadership qualification.
Helen Marney, director of operations for South Yorkshire Sport, said:
This is a fantastic new pre-work programme designed to get young people ready for employment.
It is about recognising the role that sport plays in mental wellbeing and increasing self esteem, motivation, communication and leadership skills in 18 to 21 year olds who are receiving job seekers allowance.
Job seekers who sign up will take part in activities including football, rugby and street dance and the scheme will culminate in a celebration event at the English Institute of Sport Sheffield (EIS Sheffield).
While we are working with football clubs to deliver the activities, the scheme is not about securing jobs in sport. The main aim is to increase the probability of young people entering work and encouraging exit routes into apprenticeships.
We ran an initial pilot with two clubs in 2012 and it was a big success. We are looking to build on this with the second stage pilot. We have started recruiting now and up to 20 places are available with each club.
For more information or to sign up for the scheme visit www.sysport.co.uk.