SWB and Aston Villa set to tackle young employment

29th Oct 2021

A joint initiative between an NHS Trust and Aston Villa Football Club will see scores of young people trained and “job ready” thanks to a windfall of £229,000.

Your Trust Charity, the official charity of Sandwell and West Birmingham (SWB) NHS Trust, has paired with Aston Villa Foundation to secure funding from The Prince’s Trust in order to recruit, train and equip 16-30-year-olds from across the region in readiness for entry level jobs and apprenticeships.

The money has been awarded through the Prince’s Trust’s SCORE (Supporting, Career, Opportunities, Recruitment & Employment) programme and is part of an ongoing workforce development drive to meet the shortfalls within the health and social care sector.

It aims to boost the confidence of those who have been left out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic and for them to find skilled meaningful jobs, particularly roles at SWB NHS Trust but also with associated teams and other NHS partners across the region. Dr Nick Makwana, Consultant Paediatrician and Group Director of Women and Children’s Health at SWB NHS Trust, is leading the project.

Speaking on the matter, Johnny Shah, head of Your Trust Charity said: “Over the next 30 months the SCORE programme, with the input of our colleagues at Aston Villa Foundation, will see well over 1,000 young adults taking part in an accredited employment pathway.

“There will be mandatory training in English and Maths, accredited modules built around health and social care, wellbeing and sports leadership, as well as work placements and CV writing. Those involved will have opportunities to take part in team building activities and in using sports as therapy.  We cannot promise jobs for all that train and take part, but on completion we are aiming to provide 150 entry level opportunities, including apprenticeships, as we develop and look to expand our workforce within the Trust and with our supply chain of partners.”

Guy Rippon from Aston Villa Foundation added: “It is a great opportunity for us to be working closely in partnership with the Trust and we envisage that with the input of The Prince’s Trust we will have a flagship project that we can all be proud of.  Through SCORE we will have a project that will empower, support and look to employ young people for meaningful jobs within in a much-needed sector.”

SCORE is set to ‘kick off’ at the forthcoming jobs fair being hosted at Villa Park between 10am and 5pm on Tuesday, November 2, where those wanting to sign up to the programme can register their interest.

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