The Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James, is visiting Swansea City Football Club Academy to talk to its apprentices about their learning experiences.
Speaking ahead of the visit, Julie James said:
“The Welsh Government is delivering one of the most successful apprenticeship programmes in Europe. Swansea City Football Club’s Academy is a shining example of this.
“We recognise the benefits apprenticeships offer to the learners, employers and economy of Wales, and we are committed to the creation of at least 100,000 all-age apprentices, prioritising support for new entrants and higher level skills.”
Swansea City F.C. currently has 24 apprentice footballers, thirteen of whom are starting their first year.
Head of Education and Welfare in Swansea City F.C., Tony Thomas said:
“We are extremely fortunate to be able to take advantage of the excellent services provided by Pathways Training, the lecturers at Neath Port Talbot College and our NVQ tutor, regarded as being one of the best in the Premier League.
“We emphasise to our young players and their parents that an apprenticeship in football is not just about developing technical skills and tactical understanding.
“Education is vital as realistically, only a small minority of apprentice players actually progress into the professional sphere.
“We also provide Life Skill sessions for our apprentices and our aim is to develop well rounded individuals who are good citizens. Many have emerged with creditable results which enable them to pursue higher education when they choose.”
The Apprenticeship programme is currently supported by £83m from the European Social Fund (ESF). The Welsh Government is committed to delivering our EU funding programmes, creating a minimum of 100,000 all-age apprenticeship opportunities to support individuals and to help employers in growing their businesses.
Julie James added:
“We are committed to working together with work based learning providers to support and develop the delivery of the Apprenticeships and Traineeship programmes to supply Wales with a diverse, capable and prepared labour force.”