Birmingham’s Football Clubs Launch Kick-Off Project to Help Vulnerable Young People Find Work  

Aston Villa and Birmingham City Football Clubs’ Community Organisations have launched a new employment project, Kick-Off, which is specially designed to help young adults overcome the barriers that are preventing them finding work.

 Kick-Off is funded by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and is free to young people who have experienced a range of challenges in their lives. This might include those that have been in care, those that have experienced bereavement of close family members, a childhood trauma or have moderate mental health issues such as anxiety, depression or low self-esteem. The project will support people who have become socially isolated, particularly due to the Covid-19 pandemic or those who have experienced homelessness and/or are estranged from families.

Minister for Employment, Mims Davies MP said:

“Through our multi-billion pound Plan for Jobs, we’re giving young people from all backgrounds the skills, support and experience needed to get on in the world of work. This includes funding programmes like Kick Off, which builds on the existing important relationship DWP have with the EFL through the Kickstart scheme, and will benefit dozens of young people in the West Midlands as they take their first steps into employment and help them to progress.”

Kick-Off will be run by Aston Villa Foundation and Birmingham City Community Trust, will help young people improve their skills and get them ready to start their career or open the door to education or training. Participants will learn about healthy lifestyles and exercise, access money management workshops, get help to search for jobs and write a CV. There will also be specific help for anyone with low levels of literacy.

Crucially Kick-Off will provide one to one mentoring sessions, whilst on programme and beyond, which look at the young person’s specific needs and help raise self-esteem, confidence and encourage social integration.

Kick-Off is part of the EFL Trust’s ‘Training Ground’ initiative which includes a number of employability programmes that help people of all ages find employment or further training. Run by Football Club charities across the country, these programmes offer small groups the chance to develop employability skills and get that crucial first step on the job ladder.

Mike Evans CEO of the EFL Trust, commented,

 “For various reasons some people struggle in traditional educational settings and there’s a real risk that they get left behind. This is usually accompanied by low self-esteem and a lack of confidence – which can magnify any other problems they may have. Making that first step is always the hardest however, the EFL Trust’s Kick-Off project makes this possible by giving a young person the opportunity to get experience, learn skills and gain confidence.”