Rhyl Football in the Community (FiTC) provides a range of courses for learners who need a second chance to gain confidence, skills and qualifications.
The club as a learning venue is an important factor for this project, well known for its community spirit and central location. The learners engaged in the programme have been referred by Job Centre Plus, the Probation Service and Careers Wales and all have faced significant challenges in their lives; mental and physical illness, lack of self-esteem, long-term unemployment and criminal records. Many did not succeed at school and have become disillusioned with other forms of learning provision.
Rhyl FITC in partnership with Adult Learning Wales has reached out to participants aged 17-65, but its great success has been the engagement of young men. Course content has been key, co-designed by tutors, support staff and learners and developed so that it is meaningful and relevant for participants, giving them practical skills to move forward with their lives and into work.
Bite-size courses offer skills in money management and improving confidence, and help learners overcome the initial fear of committing to a course. Having engaged in this way, learners are then well placed to progress onto longer courses at the club.
“Kickstart” courses link practical employability skills with knowledge about keeping mind and body healthy, with the course taking place at a sports venue, this is relevant and of interest to learners. In response to learners feeling they were lacking computer skills, Rhyl FITC responded by developing a Compu Clinic course at level 1. All courses are accredited by Agored Cymru and learners move forward with transferable skills and valid certification for their CVs.
In addition to the courses themselves, the club encourages learners to undertake voluntary work with them, including stewarding opportunities, admin work and in some cases, this has led directly to paid work.