Former LFE apprentices, who have now transitioned into other careers, participated in the fourth Alumni Player Voice webinar to constructively share their perspectives and help identify common themes. As has been the case since its launch in 2021, Projects Officer Kelly Butterworth hosted the forum with six other LFE staff members contributing.
With it being the final meeting of the 2021/22 season, the session began with a review of the previous forums and the key messages that came out of each one. Each session has explored different areas of the Apprenticeship Programme.
The opening forum focused on updating the group on the current support provisions available through LFE, demonstrating the current landscape and how player care has progressed.
Forum two consisted of acknowledging the ‘readiness to engage’, which ultimately stressed that reassurance and education are imperative. Ideas around the development of an explorative but safe environment for apprentices to learn in were also discussed.
The third forum saw Switch The Play Foundation deliver a presentation on their new 1-1 bespoke career service, ‘Switched On’. The importance of parent and guardian education was discussed, with alumni sharing different experiences about their own support systems.
The fourth and final forum looked at the best practice within the club environment, sharing player care responsibilities, supporting transition, and facilitating change.
Other areas for discussion were the culture within the football environment and how shifting the definition of success could help alter a player’s perception of success and failure. Club responsibility, support methods and wider stakeholder support were also brought into the conversation by former apprentices.
A date for our first Alumni Player Voice forum of the 2022/23 season will be announced in due course. In the meantime, if you are an ex-apprentice who would like to contribute to our next session, please contact Kelly ([email protected]) or LFE Communications ([email protected]).