Longstanding Commitment to Apprenticeships Award - Man Utd

28 February 2017

Manchester United has worked with YMCA Training for the past 25 years and has shown true commitment to the development of their apprentices.

Manchester United have a training academy for their apprentices who study Horticulture programmes and a number of extra qualifications which include spraying qualifications, first aid, manual handling and spill kit training.

There are currently 6 Apprentices working full time on site and they are learning a range of new technologies within the industry including irrigation systems, underground heating systems and the latest in laser marking machines to mark out the pitches.

Manchester United aim to keep all staff up to date and experienced with all new innovations that develop at the training ground.

Some apprentice stories...

Brad Catelani, aged 23 from Droylsdon, started his YMCA Training Horticulture Level 2 apprenticeship at Manchester United in September 2015. Brad had originally gone to college to study for his A-Levels but dropped out at the end of the first year. After working as a cleaning supervisor for four years he decided the role wasn’t for him and decided to pursue a career change through an apprenticeship.

“I got my Level 1 (in Horticulture) from college and then I found this opportunity with Manchester United online so I just went for it.

“I’ve always wanted to do a manual job. I’m not an office person and when I was thinking about what I wanted to do it was just a case of asking what’s the best job for me, and that was something in a practical environment.

“I always wanted to do this kind of work - being outdoors - and I applied for quite a few, including jobs on golf courses, and this was the one that came up.

“Doing this as an apprenticeship is the best way because you could learn this kind of work out of a textbook but you don’t really know if you could do the job until you start it.

“If you know what you want to do then apprenticeships are the best way to go. I went to college at first but quit after the first year because you had to do four A-Level subjects and I only had one thing I wanted to do.”

When we asked Brad if he thought schools were doing enough to promote the benefits of apprenticeships, he told us: 

“I don’t think schools are doing enough to prepare people for work or life because when they teach maths they should make it about mortgages, or tax or national insurance, just make it more relevant to real life.

“Even when I was at school we were only told about A-Levels - apprenticeships were never mentioned as an option. I think this is massively cheating a lot of young people. Also, for employers, I think they are beginning to value more people with practical skills. If you take someone on who has learnt in a classroom you don’t know if they can do the practical job. If you take on someone who has done an apprenticeship you know straight away that they know how to do the job because the training they’ve done has been practical and hands on - actually doing the job.”

“If you know what you want to do then apprenticeships are the best way to go. I went to college at first but quit after the first year because you had to do four A-Level subjects and I only had one thing I wanted to do.”
Brad Catalani

Jonathon Agnew, aged 26 from Salford, started his YMCA Training Horticulture Level 2 apprenticeship at Manchester United in September 2015. He had originally studied car body repair at college but decided it wasn’t for him. After a stint working with family, he decided to look for a suitable apprenticeship.

“As soon as I left school I went to college but did subjects I didn’t really want to do. Really, they were the only subjects left because I left it too late. I did car body repair and painting. I finished the courses but I didn’t go into that kind of work and went to work for my Uncle for a while.

“I wanted to get another job but you can’t just walk into something because you have to have gone to university or something, but apprenticeships are a good way of getting qualifications while earning some money.

“I went onto the Directgov website and found out about this apprenticeship. I think doing my apprenticeship here, at Man United, is ideal because if you get a job at the end you’re working here, and even if you don’t it looks good on your CV to have worked for a company like this anyway! 

“For me, doing these qualifications as an apprenticeships is great because I always loved working outdoors and gardening so it was an easy match.”

When asked for the advice he’d give to others considering an apprenticeship, Jonathon said: 

“I would definitely recommend for other people to go down the apprenticeship route because you get great practical experience and earn money at the same time.

“People learn in different ways and for me I prefer hands on experience were you learn a job and not sit in a classroom. I don’t like learning that way, I like more learning in a hands on and practical way.”

“I would definitely recommend for other people to go down the apprenticeship route because you get great practical experience and earn money at the same time."
Jonathan Agnew

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