SCL make Apprenticeships Work for professional and grassroots clubs

Posted by SCL Education Group on 10.07.18

Following 2018’s National Apprenticeship Week, showcasing how apprenticeships work for individuals, employers and the community, leading providers of education through sport, SCL, are celebrating success from both their clubs and apprentices.

Combining work with study for ambitious young learners aged 16 and over, apprenticeships are rapidly changing the world of work. With government encouraging businesses to make apprenticeships part of their growth strategy, clubs are now utilising funds to pay for apprenticeship training.

The apprenticeship Levy, introduced in April 2017, requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill over £3 million each year, to invest in apprenticeships and training.

For Levy paying clubs, 90% of training will be covered by contributions to the apprenticeship service, with the remaining 10% funded by the government. Non-Levy payers are required to fund just 10% of training costs, with 90% covered by the government.

Empowering Levy paying and non-Levy paying clubs to take advantage of the government’s apprenticeship drive, SCL Education Group are experts in ensuring the effective use of apprenticeship funding.

SCL Work Based Learning Assessor, Tom Weeks, told The NLP: “We’re a company that has always believed in giving young people an opportunity. We understand what it’s like to be the apprentice, but we also employ 20 apprentices ourselves, and are looking to increase that next year.”.

Having progressed their own workforce through the apprenticeship programme, and with experience in organising and managing apprenticeships for the likes of Reading FC, Barking FC Academy and Charlton Athletic Community Trust, SCL know what it takes to deliver effective training that creates results for both individuals and clubs.

“We, as a company, are passionate about giving young people an opportunity. We feel that by keeping that passion going, we can support those people to ensure that they become the best possible employee”, Weeks continued.

Jane Spong, Head of Youth & Community at Woking FC, told The NLP: “SCL have been our education partner for over 10 years now. In all respects we have found them to be professional and easy to work with. Recently, within the apprenticeship scheme we have run, they have shown commitment and passion to the development of our staff.”


Delivering programmes nationwide within Business Admin, Leadership & Management, Sports Coaching, Customer Service and more, SCL develop teams both behind the scenes and on the sidelines.

“You get the opportunity to train them exactly how you want them to work”, explained Weeks. “You get to understand the person’s strengths, and you can see how that person would fit into your business on a full-time scale. It’s almost a try before you buy.”

“We’ve found that people who do any apprenticeship are more likely to stay within a job role for a longer period of time and are more likely to, if brought on full-time at the end of that year, go past their probation period and develop themselves further.

“They’re already in that mindset of singly developing themselves within a setting, so they understand what it’s like to take on new qualifications and to take on new responsibilities. They’re not phased and challenged by those things.”

SCL Apprenticeship Manager, Steve Smith, told The NLP: “The employers have a person who is enthusiastic about the role and prospect of working in sport. They have the advantage of being able to mould the young person into an employee that will benefit the organisation and local community by being a role model for other young people.”


With a 92% completion success rate for apprentices, consistently higher than the national average, and 90% of learners progressing into full or part-time employment, SCL are passionate about the development of young learners through the power of sport.

Smith explained: “I work with young people from all over London and surrounding counties to support and guide them in their quest for a career in Sport and Fitness. Apprenticeships are a good way for them to gain a good base qualification at L2 or L3, upskill their Maths and English, and improve soft skills to develop their employability.

“Many, having completed their apprenticeship, have maintained permanent employment and progressed, and some have moved onto higher education. There is a great deal of satisfaction seeing young people having the desire to succeed and achieve great things.

SCL Director of Apprenticeships & Work Based Learning, Marcus Headington, continued: “Apprenticeships provide great opportunities for employers and learners alike. SCL have progressed a number of learners through the medium of football into careers that have benefitted the learners, clubs and the community.

“For learners completing a 2-year study programme, apprenticeship schemes provide them with a 3rd year of training and development within the club.”


Priding themselves on giving back to the community, SCL help hard to reach youngsters gain vital qualifications, work experience and employability skills.

Weeks explained: “Apprenticeships are extremely beneficial, particularly if you’re a football club sending people out into the local community.

“You have that person that lives local, has been a part of that community, and is willing to give something back. They understand their responsibilities.

“Apprenticeships help to increase employment within the community”, Weeks added. “To give young people those opportunities and to further their education is really great.”


Whether you are a Levy paying club and need to understand how to use your investment, or a non Levy paying club and need to find out how apprenticeships can benefit you, SCL are here to help.

Get in touch with SCL to book a free apprenticeship needs analysis, or let our expert team come in and design a training programme suited to your needs.

If you would like to speak to SCL about how an apprenticeship programme could help your club, call SCL on 0345 644 5747 or request a call back by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

By Hannah Cameron

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