Call for football clubs to kickstart young people’s careers with work placements

Wolves, West Bromwich Albion and other professional or semi-professional football clubs in the region are being invited by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to help young people kick off their careers.

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, Walsall FC mascot Swifty and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Thérèse Coffey
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, Walsall FC mascot Swifty and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Thérèse Coffey

The WMCA is holding an event with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for Premier League, EFL Championship and Conference League football clubs in the region to talk about how they could offer valuable placements for young people through the Government’s Kickstart scheme.

Kickstart funds employers to create six-month job placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment. Many young people have been hit hard by the pandemic and Kickstart aims to change that.

Organisations represented at the webinar on Friday, June 18, from 9.30am to 10.30am will include the EFL and Walsall Football Club, which has already taken on seven young Kickstarters – with 13 more places due by the end of the year.

Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, who will be speaking at the event, said: “Our region’s professional football clubs have a fantastic track record when it comes to giving something back to their local communities, and the Kickstart scheme is another opportunity to do just that.

“We know that young people in these communities have been the hardest hit economically by the pandemic, and Kickstart is a great way to help these unemployed youngsters into work to begin their careers.

"The scheme also makes good financial sense for businesses, who get to employ talented and eager youngsters with Government covering the cost. But as good as Kickstart is on paper, its success is dependent on the number of local employers who step up and take young people on.

“The likes of Villa, Wolves, West Brom and Blues can all offer young people the skills they need to score jobs across a variety of sectors in the West Midlands, just as Walsall FC have been doing. I would encourage other football clubs – both professional and semi-professional – to come along to this event and find out how they could give young people a helping hand to achieve their career goals.”

Helene Dearn, group director West Midlands – DWP, added: “Kickstart boosts the career chances of young people at risk of long-term unemployment by helping them take their first step on the jobs ladder and gain real-life work experience and skills for the future.

"We’re keen to involve more local football clubs in the scheme and we look forward to taking part in this event.”

Kickstart placements available at football clubs could include roles in ticket sales, marketing, hospitality, sports training and ground maintenance.

To book a place at the event, visit

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