“If I hadn’t done the traineeship I wouldn’t be in the position I am now.”

Following Emily Price’s progression from a trainee student to a first year apprentice sports coach in September 2018, 23-year-old Daniel Halliwell has now gained employment at Rigalettos Restaurant at the DW Stadium after completing a 12-week traineeship scheme with Wigan Athletic Community Trust.

A traineeship with the Community Trust aims to enhance the skills and experiences of unemployed young people, making them better prepared for further education or employment.

And for Kitchen Assistant Daniel, who is autistic and has always held a passion for catering, the scheme enabled him to pick up vital educational and work skills as well as improve his confidence and self-esteem.

He said: “I enjoyed the traineeship a lot because before I started it I didn’t know what to do or where to go for support with employment.

“Finding a job was really difficult and the opportunities didn’t really seem there for me, but I was referred to the traineeship after doing an employability course at Wigan Youth Zone and they thought it would be the best thing for me.”

The traineeship with the Trust offers placement opportunities in fields such as sports coaching, business administration, media and hospitality, while educational support, access to qualifications, job application support, Latics kit and bursaries are all also available to learners.

“I picked up lots of different skills during my 12 weeks on the traineeship, including gaining English and Maths qualifications and also completing a Health and Safety course which was really important for me because I wanted to work in a catering environment.  

“I was pleased to be offered a placement at Rigalettos Restaurant at the DW Stadium during my traineeship and was over the moon when it led to part-time paid work. I felt that I’d worked hard during the placement and was delighted to get a job.”

Daniel credits the support given to him by Latics as crucial in helping him to gain work and believes the traineeship scheme has helped to develop his personal attributes.

“My communication skills have improved a lot since I started working at Rigalettos and I feel like I’ve come out of my shell a lot more. I’m a lot more confident talking to people now which is important in a role such as mine.

“I’m in a real working environment now so it was important that I came out of my shell more and develop myself as a person in a busy kitchen.

“I got a lot of support from Wigan Athletic during my time on the traineeship and if I hadn’t have done it then I wouldn’t be in the position I am today.

“It’s a great feeling to be working at the DW Stadium and I get a real buzz when working on match days because it’s so busy and there’s a great atmosphere around the place.”

To find out more about traineeships visit: https://www.efltrust.com/projects/traineeships/