League Football Education (LFE) hosted their second Alumni Player Voice forum on Tuesday 8th November, with 11 ex-apprentices attending the call to share feedback on an array of topics, from the evolvement of player care provisions to challenges they faced during their apprenticeship.
The forum, held over Zoom, initiated some interesting discussions, and provided LFE staff with valuable feedback on areas for improvement. The initiative was introduced in June 2021 to facilitate a safe and confidential space for past apprentices to talk about experiences, best practice, and areas for development regarding the transition support provided by clubs and wider organisations.
Questions that were discussed during November’s forum were:
- what makes an engaging presentation/workshop?
- how can we attract apprentices to engage?
Former LFE apprentices, who have now transitioned into other careers, shared their opinions in a constructive manner and helped identify common themes. Projects Officer Kelly Butterworth led the forum, with six other LFE staff members present. One of those was Life Skills Manager Simon Williams, who was really impressed with the engagement from former apprentices:
“It is pleasing to see how the Alumni Player Voice has already captured the attention of so many former apprentices, who are willing to give their time and thoughts as to where football is right now, where it has come from and where it could go in relation to player care.
“This space allows former apprentices to confirm our assumptions or shape activities to address gaps in the support available. It is also useful to provide a network for alumni to connect with each other and share their individual journeys into the next chapter of their lives.
“The idea behind running the forum came from the passing of Jeremy Wisten and Matthew Langton, along with other negative experiences which highlighted the need to hear the voice of past and present academy players. We had the idea of launching a player-centred initiative for a while, but the rising awareness of negative instances was the catalyst for getting things off the ground. We want to continue to develop this space and encourage more apprentices to join us in helping improve in all areas.”
A date for our next Alumni Player Voice forum will be announced in due course. In the meantime, if you are an ex-apprentice and would like to contribute to our next session, please contact Kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org) or LFE Communications (email@example.com).