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    Apprentices take centre spot at St. George’s Park!

    08 September 2023

    St. George’s Park, the home of the National Football Centre, has been working with its official college partner, Burton and South Derbyshire College, to offer apprenticeships within the organisation.

    The national centre is currently nurturing apprentices across three departments: Education, SGP Operations and Business Support.

    Business Administration Apprentice, Zara Leppington has been an apprentice at St. George’s Park for the last two years, developing in confidence, communication skills and professionalism, and recently gaining a distinction in her end point assessment. 

    Zara said: “I chose this apprenticeship because I've always been interested in sport and felt that university wasn’t the right choice for me. The way it was set out with just one day a week in college was just the right amount of support for me to achieve. With an apprenticeship, you can get so much experience outside the classroom and learn about the real world, whilst getting your qualifications alongside. 

    I've had so many different experiences here: I've been to Wembley, I help out with the men's, the women's and the para programme, I provide business support to our national coaches, physios and medics, and I get to work with different nations, which is an amazing experience. After I complete my apprenticeship, I’d ideally like to stay at the FA and continue learning and growing my skills. I'd definitely like to stay in elite sport because I've really enjoyed my time here!

    An apprenticeship is a real job with training, combining hands-on work with the chance to train and get qualified in a particular industry. Apprentices have the opportunity to gain skills and work experience, while employers gain enthusiastic members of staff who they can train to suit the skill requirements of the company.

    Jane Baker, PA to the Men’s and Women’s Technical Directors and Director of FA Learning at the FA said: “We currently have apprentices across three divisions at St. George’s Park which gives apprentices varied opportunities to learn and develop across the whole site. Apprentices bring with them a level of freshness and new ideas into the team. Zara has done really well in our team working on specific projects, as well as working on projects across all areas to give her wider experience for her future career.”

    Zoe Wilson-Maye, Head of National Team Operations at the FA added: “Apprenticeships are so valuable, both for us as employers and also for the young people we have undertaking the apprenticeships. The enrichment of working with people in such a place as St. George’s Park is really valuable. When you recruit an apprentice, you need to change your style of working and make sure you match the learning style of the individuals you’ve got with you. I would encourage other employers to embrace the experience of offering apprenticeships. My team have benefitted from mentoring apprentices, making them grow as individuals. Apprentices give you a unique perspective – the work you do is through someone else’s eyes, and they bring new ideas and ways of doing things. I believe apprenticeships can only enhance what you do.   

    Contact Details

    Contact Details

    Burton and South Derbyshire College
    Tel: 01283 494400

    Town Centre Campus

    Burton Town Centre Campus, Lichfield Street, Burton on Trent, Staffordshire DE14 3RL

    Stephen Burke Construction Academy

    Construction Academy, 21 Tetron Point, William Nadin Way, Swadlincote, Derbyshire DE11 OBB