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Thursday 06 March 2014

Spurs working hard to boost community's job prospects

Club chosen for Government's 'Job Fit' pilot scheme to aid local youngsters find employment

  • Iain Duncan Smith, right, and Ledley King spoke to apprentices at White Hart Lane

  • Former Spurs defender King attended a job fair in Hackney, London

  • Club Ambassador King has offered his support for the schemes offered by the Foundation

Tottenham Hotspur have been selected to help with a Government pilot scheme to help local young people receive more mentoring and work-experience opportunities.

"I would encourage any local employer who thinks they can support young people in their area get into work to get involved"
Iain Duncan Smith

The Department of Work and Pensions launched in January "Job Fit", a pilot scheme in the four London boroughs of Brent, Lambeth, Hackney and Haringey.

Spurs have been active for a number of years in helping the employment prospects of the local community, working with Jobcentre Plus, Haringey Council and Sainsbury's on an employment partnership for all local people access to the jobs and training opportunities that are starting to emerge from the club's new stadium scheme. Through the award-winning Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, the Club is supporting this latest pilot in Haringey through innovative community development programmes such as E18HTEEN and OnSide, that use the unique appeal of Barclays Premier League football to create life-changing opportunities.

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, joined club ambassador Ledley King at White Hart Lane in meeting young people who have gained apprenticeships through Tottenham Hotspur's employability programmes. This week also marks National Apprenticeship Week, a scheme from the National Apprenticeship Service that aims to raise the profile of apprenticeships amongst employers, individuals, teachers, parents and the media.

"I'm really pleased to be launching this project today and I would encourage any local employer who thinks they can support the young people in their area get into work to get involved," Duncan-Smith said. "All young people should grow up believing that they will have the opportunity to have a fulfilling career.

"Government's role is to ensure they have the skills and the support they need to fulfil their aspirations. But businesses have a valuable role to play too - by opening their doors and giving young people a chance."

“The Tottenham Hotspur job fair was a great opportunity for us to advertise our positions to the local community”
Michelle McAuliffe

As well as being part of the pilot scheme, Spurs hosted a job fair at White Hart Lane to provide tips to locals on how to apply for their latest job openings. Previous recruitment fairs hosted by Spurs have proven a success, with attendees managing to find permanent work through meeting with employers.

In 2011, Mo Mumin attended an open day at White Hart Lane and three years later, he is now a coach with the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.

"I'd been going down to the job centre in Tottenham and my advisor told me about the apprenticeships open day at White Hart Lane," Mumin said. "Through the apprenticeship scheme I gained my FA Level 2 football coaching qualification and was offered a contract at Tottenham Hotspur Foundation. That was three years ago and I've been here ever since."

Michelle McAuliffe from Ardmore Construction said a previous job fair helped one local to work at her company. "We interviewed several candidates and were delighted to offer an administrative position to someone who has now started work for us and is settling in well," she said.

Tottenham Hotspur Foundation has made a six-year commitment to helping tackle unemployment in the local community. More job fairs will be hosted at White Hart Lane while the Foundation also intends to create more opportunities in different forms, from apprenticeship schemes in sports coaching and hospitality to accredited skills schemes like the Great Grass project.

"We, at Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, are proud that our work in the local community is being recognised by the Government following the visit of Iain Duncan Smith," Nikki Kelly, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation's Employment and Skills Manager said. "Our employment and skills activity is a real partnership with Haringey Council and DWP, maximising the opportunities for local people to access the jobs created through the regeneration scheme, and recognising the value of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club as a hub within our community."

The fair on Wednesday at White Hart Lane follows another jobs pilot in the Haringey area on Monday, which was attended by club ambassador and former defender Ledley King.

“I have seen first-hand the great work that the club is doing to get local people employed"
Ledley King

"Tottenham Hotspur and its Foundation have a great track record in supporting local people into education, employment and training," said King, who made 268 Barclays Premier League appearances for Spurs before retiring in 2012. "I have seen first-hand the great work that the club is doing to get local people employed through its new stadium scheme and am personally proud to be involved in that.

"It's great that our work with Jobcentre Plus has the backing of the government and will no doubt continue to a make a difference in the lives of many."

To find out more about the opportunities available and Tottenham Hotspur FC's commitment to regeneration please visit www.tottenhamhotspur.com/foundation or call 0208 365 5138.

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Key Points

  • Tottenham Hotspur helping launch Department of Work and Pensions pilot scheme to aid employment in London
  • Spurs have formed partnership with Jobcentre and Harringey Council
  • Event is part of a long-term plan by Foundation to tackle unemployment in local areas