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By Pete Stephenson | 12/06/2014

The Hull FC Learning Centre has had a significant impact on people’s lives throughout the region and has proven to be resounding success since its inception last year.

The key accomplishments have been for the Learning Centre’s target audience of young people who are not in employment, education or training of any kind. The results from the range of courses available to 16-19 year-olds have led to them gaining qualifications, going onto higher education, finding full or part-time employment and, in general, leading an overall better standard of life.     

Through the power of sport and the Hull FC brand, the FC Learning centre has re-engaged people back into education who have found themselves with little or no direction in their lives. The ground-breaking project, which is in conjunction with Hull Collage and Hull Training, is based at Hull FC’s new Bonus Youth Performance Centre which provides a unique learning environment.

Following on from the successful pioneering Level 1, 2 and 3 in Sports Course, provided by Hull Training, the FC Learning Centre has this year developed further courses with Hull Collage, whilst retaining its partnership with the Hull City Council training provider.

This year’s Level 1 programme has offered the chance for students to gain a Certificate in Sport, Certificate in Employability and Personal Development, as well as Functional Skills in Numeracy and Literacy.

Two separate courses for adults have also been included which they can gain a Certificate in Sport and also a Level 2 Award in Employability and Personal Development

Rachel Gay, who is the Education Manager of the Hull FC Foundation, is delighted with the results. She said: “We are starting to make a real difference to young people’s lives in our community through the deliverance of these programmes.

“There’s a varying range of students and their levels of ability. A lot of them have been referred from difficult backgrounds and have been disengaged from education for a while. We start slowly to get them up to speed then by the time they’re up to level three, they’re well on their way to equipping themselves with a skill-set to succeed in life beyond their time here.

“The other rewarding factor is that these kids are learning important life skills and values while being here. From their appearance, to the way they respect others and themselves. To see the change as they go through the levels is quite remarkable.

“The facilities that we have at the centre are fantastic and along with our teaching staff’s approach it enables students to experience a different environment to that of a school classroom and the feedback off the students is really positive.”

As an extra enticement to further encourage disengaged young people into education, the programme provides students with an £80 ‘earn as you learn’ incentive, and a minibus is provided to ferry students to and from the centre. 

Two former graduates of the FC Learning Centre have impressed their peers so much that they have been given opportunities to work within the club. Jordan Hickson (18) excelled in his initial maths assignment which led to him working within the accounts department at the KC Stadium for two days a week.

Hickson said: “I wasn’t really doing much with myself and I was in a bit of a slump. Then I found out about this course at a youth-club project meeting from one of Hull FC’s coaches. It’s changed my life, I’m ready for the next step after this which will be to use this qualification and go onto University to gain a degree.”

Since completing the course this year, James Taylor was offered a full-time position as an Assistant Development Officer as part of the Hull FC Foundation, working alongside those who taught him.

Taylor said: “I’d first come into contact with Hull FC whist on a work experience placement when I was still at school, which I really enjoyed. They then pointed me towards the Level One Sports Course. While I was doing that there were opportunities to work on match days and to go into schools helping delivering sports sessions which I loved. 

“When the position of Assistant Development Officer came up I was interviewed for the position and got the job.

“I’m getting a huge amount of job satisfaction. Some of the kids in our groups, when they first come in, don’t want to learn and don’t have a clue about the real world and how to conduct themselves in a proper manner. We’re providing them with the social skills as well as the qualifications to help them succeed.

“On the other end of the scale, there’re those who want to learn as much as possible and I use myself as an example of what can be achieved if you just keep on trying.”

Some of the other students who have found varied success outside of the club as a result of their time at the FC Learning Centre are Luke McDermott, Josh Eagle and Dom Hunter. The trio have gone onto, higher education at university, taking initial steps to join the RAF and secured fulltime employment at Haven Holiday homes, respectably.    

The next set of FC Learning Centre Courses begin in June with further courses running in July and September, for more details on how to get involved with the courses contact Community Manager Danny Scott on or by telephone on 07834 538622.

Story Sponsor:
KC Lightstream

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