Sheffield United Football Club (SUFC) has been supporting staff behind the scenes working with Apprenticeship provider Interserve Learning & Employment to develop the next generation of SUFC apprentices.

The Sheffield based organisation has been brought in as SUFC’s preferred training partner to assist staff to gain new vocational qualifications while doing their day to day jobs at the Lane.

This partnership is an essential ingredient of the club’s commitment to staff development. SUFC knows it’s most important asset is its people, so when Training Manager Sue Beeley realised they needed a reliable training partner Interserve Learning & Employment were approached.

“Finding appropriate work-based learning is not easy and when you find the right provider it is vital that it’s one you can build a good working relationship with. It’s the on-going support that’s really important” commented Sue.

Interserve Learning & Employment. were chosen, amongst other reasons, for the professional attitude of their local skills assessor Lynsey Simmonite: “I chose Interserve Learning & Employment because of Lynsey; she is brilliant!” said Sue “She is approachable and treats each person as an individual. She has built up a good personal relationship with each member of staff and made them feel confident and our staff are happy”.

The seven learners are from a mix of different ages, levels of experience and job-roles in various departments. The training programme was designed to recognise their existing work-based skills and support them in developing new ones. The qualifications being studied include customer service, hospitality and business administration and Sheffield United are hoping to add to this.

Lynsey could see that she needed a flexible approach for such a diverse group of learners and as she says: “This was new and so was going to present some challenges. Some individuals had not done any active learning for a long time and everyone needed to do different qualifications; add to this the pressure of working around match days and you can see how the situation was quite complex, so we had to look at a range of ways to help their progress.”

“The SUFC learners have all done well and achieved more than they dreamed they would” continued Lynsey, “Having Interserve Learning & Employment. come in as an external expert to independently assess their abilities has boosted their confidence, which in turn has increased motivation levels and improved performance, which all benefits the club and provides a better service to fans”.

“I never thought I would be able to achieve as much as I have. Lynsey has been great, she is really thorough and supportive and has helped me work through all the assessments and I am looking forward to gaining my new qualification through Interserve Learning & Employment” says SUFC apprentice Becky Hinds.