“My confidence was at a real low and I found going out an experience that made me really anxious” says Jacob Fahy.
However, looking at the confident young Plymouth Argyle Apprentice Community Coach now, that statement seems hard to believe.
Jacob credits a 12 week traineeship with Argyle Community Trust as the being the turning point in his life. He describes the Traineeship course as “a game changer for me – it helped me work out what I wanted to do and rebuild my life. The course was an amazing experience and I am so grateful for the opportunity.”
Plymouth Argyle are one of several EFL Clubs on EFL Trust’s traineeship programme. A traineeship offers youngsters aged 16-23, who are currently not in education or employment the crucial first stepping stone to getting a job. The 12 week courses are week based at professional football clubs. Trainees receive free training in employment skills such as CV writing and interview skills in addition to receiving support on their functional Math and English skills. Crucially they also get the chance to gain valuable work experience in a wide range of industries.
Prior to starting the Traineeship programme, Jacob had been out of education and employment for over 2.5 years. Jacob is very open and honest in describing his journey from this starting point, highlighting that “my confidence was at a real low, so meeting the tutor for the first meeting was a real challenge.” After scheduling a meeting in the relaxed surroundings of a local coffee shop with a referral partner that Jacob was working with (and after much discussion about Jacob’s favourite football team Liverpool’s title chances), Jacob had decided he would like to step out of his comfort zone and join the programme.
Throughout the course, Jacob opted to complete his work experience in coaching children. This was something that he excelled in and thoroughly enjoyed, so much so he knew that this was what he wanted to do in the future.
He says “Prior to the course, I was not sure what I wanted to do and lacked any real career focus or motivation. Working with children through my work placement though was amazing and helped me to realise what I was passionate about!”
Jacob successfully completed the course and then sought to progress onto an apprenticeship, applying for a vacancy at Plymouth Argyle Football in the Community Trust. Jacob’s charisma and new found confidence were pivotal in him securing the role, to Jacob’s delight!
Jacob is now undertaking the Level 2 Community Activator Coach apprenticeship standard. The apprenticeship looks to support those aspiring to follow a career in the sport or education sectors, through working with children across both school and community sports contexts.
Part of Jacobs’s role has afforded him the opportunity to become involved in supporting key workers and vulnerable children at St. Catherine’s Primary School in Launceston, Cornwall, during the current national lock down restrictions.
Jacob describes this experience as being “absolutely incredible, allowing me to build some amazing relationships with pupils and staff, whilst also being able to support them in getting active and staying healthy.
Dan Shurmer, Plymouth Argyle Football in the Community Trust Training and Skill Manager comments, “We are extremely proud of Jacob’s progress and very much look forward to supporting his professional development through this exciting apprenticeship pathway.”