Newest FA Women’s Football Apprentices take first training days #ECFAapprentices

The 20 chosen apprentices who form the latest group of students welcomed as FA Women’s Football Apprentices have come together for the first time, at Warwick University, for a three-day training event (20-22 August) introducing them to their roles and their personal development journey. Former apprentices are also taking part and feeding back on their journey and taking part in group activities.

We will hear more from some of the participants in the coming days but firstly, let’s give you some background to the fantastic programme…

“What is the FA Women’s Football Apprentice training programme?” we hear you ask. “And what are its aims”?

The FA Women’s Football Apprentice programme is run by the ECFA (English Colleges FA), AoC Sport’s football delivery arm, in partnership with The FA.

The apprentices are recruited as part of The FA’s Women’s Football Strategy, ‘The Gameplan for Growth’ and are employed by colleges, working through AoC Sport.

The programme aims to boost student employability while supporting The FA in doubling female participation. Each apprentice is tasked with engaging 100 new female participants and 10 new female leaders, with tailored inclusion and diversity targets.

The key focus is on developing apprentices’ personal behaviours via a bespoke personal development compass and behaviour framework. Apprentices have access to a varied Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme including webinars, an online hub and training days. 

#WFA18 FA Women's Football Apprentices
FA Women’s Football Apprentices at a training day in 2018, with special guest Laura Bassett. #ECFAapprentices

Who is eligible to apply to be #ECFAapprentices and how are they selected?

Colleges can apply to AoC Sport to become a ‘host college’ if they adhere to certain criteria. If successful, the host college receives a grant of £7,000 to contribute towards the apprentice’s wage. The college advertises the role and invites students to apply. Students are interviewed by AoC Sport and if successful are offered the job by their college.  This year 20 FA Women’s Football Apprentices have been chosen.

Feedback from former students has been very positive in terms of their own personal development and confidence as well as their football education. Is there an example of the good work a graduate has gone to do?

Estelle Randall, is a great example. She is a former apprentice at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College (SGS) and was recognised at the Football Black List awards last year, which highlights the contributions of people from African and Caribbean background to the game.
She was highly commended in the Ugo Ehiogu ‘Ones to Watch’ list as one of 30 talented people from across the football industry under the age of 30 who are inspiring the next generation. Estelle’s name is now on a board alongside big names in the sport, such as Fabrice Muamba and Tyrone Mings.
Many other apprentices have got jobs at the college they studied at or at local primary schools. 

What do the training days involve?

  • The apprentices are introduced to their role and their remit of encouraging more girls to participate in football.
  • Includes workshops with the FA’s women’s national development manager plus a guest appearance from a Lioness.
  • There are personal development workshops as well as team-building activities
  • Speakers from The FA, AoC Sport etc
  • The Media Group also run a practical workshop on producing and filming a short video as part of a communications seminar. 

Find out more about the scheme HERE and watch a short video (see above) about training some of the #ECFAapprentices: