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Thursday 14 March 2013

'Apprenticeship at Swansea changed my life'

In National Apprenticeship Week, Rhodri Morgan explains how the Premier League club helped him

The life of Rhodri Morgan, centre, has been changed by Swansea and the Prince's Trust

This week marks National Apprenticeship Week and to celebrate it, premierleague.com looks at how clubs in the Barclays Premier League help people in their community overcome challenging circumstances to find employment.

Swansea City are one of many Premier League clubs who have an excellent relationship with The Prince’s Trust. In mid-2011, Rhodri Morgan was 21 and had been out of work for over a year when he went on a five-week National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPQL) course.

It was delivered by Swansea City in partnership with The Prince’s Trust. At the time the would-be life-saver had no idea that the course would lead to a life-changing opportunity. Rhodri shares his story:

“When I started the NPQL I was unemployed and had lost my way a bit. I loved sport – particularly rugby and cricket – but there were just so few jobs around and none involving sport. The Job Centre suggested that I take the five-week NPLQ course to get a useful qualification. That’s how I first came into contact with the club and The Prince’s Trust.

“It was a turning point for me. I think Swansea saw some potential because a little while later they contacted me about their community coaching apprenticeships.

"Being a Swansea apprentice coach has changed my life"
Rhodri Morgan

“I had a rugby refereeing qualification when I started but I was still very nervous about going into schools and delivering coaching sessions. The staff at the Community Trust taught me how to plan and organise my work and I learned a lot from observing the experienced coaches.

“To date I’ve got a Football Leaders Award, an Interplay qualification – which means I can coach people with disabilities – and I’m completing my NVQ Level 2 in Active Leisure, Learning and Well-being.

“It’s not too strong to say that being a Swansea apprentice coach has changed my life. It’s given me skills, qualifications, and most of all, confidence. None of which I had when I started. Everyone’s noticed a positive change in me although I’m still not sure how happy some of my friends are that I’m turning to football instead of rugby!

“The Prince’s Trust is brilliant. It provides great opportunities for young people who are struggling. No doubt I got my apprenticeship with Swansea because of the course. One of my colleagues also became an apprentice with the club after completing a Swansea and Prince’s Trust ‘Get Started with Football’ course so it’s a good partnership.

“I’ve loved everything about my apprenticeship from the office banter to working with children in schools. It’s great to see children and young people get real enjoyment from sport. It has made me realise that coaching is definitely the thing for me.”

To watch a video feature about the Prince's Trust Forum, click here.

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Key Points

  • This week is National Apprenticeship Week and Premier League clubs work with their community to help job prospects
  • Swansea City one of many clubs who work with the Prince's Trust to aid employment
  • Rhodri Morgan one such person whom the club helped to get out of unemployment