On Wednesday 24th March, teachers and high school students from Manchester, Salford and Trafford met Manchester United star Michael Carrick and business people from the Club, to launch the Manchester United Foundation’s Premier League Enterprise Academy project at Old Trafford today.
The young people put questions to expert speakers about business and education, and were presented with their end of programme certificate for the OCR accredited course by the football star. Speakers on the day included Chief Operating Officer at Manchester United - Michael Bolingbroke – who detailed his own business background and how the Enterprise project can help young people to follow in his footsteps.
Manchester United Foundation has received funding from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) to run the Enterprise Academy for two years. The project aims to give youngsters an insight into the running of an exciting multi-national business. It educates pupils on the inner workings of a football club, explaining that the occupations within the business stem far greater than the 11 players on the pitch. The Premier League Enterprise Academy was originally developed originally by Middlesbrough Football Club and taken nationally as an Enterprise initiative. The project is a national initiative being rolled out to all clubs within the Premier League as part of a formal agreement between Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Premier League and forms part of the Premier League Creating Chances umbrella.
Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive of the NWDA said: “In order to grow our economy we need to encourage more businesses to start up and succeed in the Northwest. We know youngsters across the region are passionate about football and we hope the Enterprise Academy project can capture some of that passion and commitment, guide that energy and provide an insight into the running of an exciting multi-national business.”
Enterprise is currently running in local schools and the Foundation has had some excellent feedback.
Lami Sonola, Enterprise Academy coach said: “The project has gone down really well with young people and teachers alike. From my experience, the young people see the Manchester United crest and they immediately sit up and listen; it is a really powerful tool. They want to learn about what happens behind the scenes in a football club and we have been lucky enough to be able to visit the stadium with them, which only adds to the experience.”
Dale from Parrs Wood School, East Didsbury said “I thought the course was good and the part of it in the stadium was really exciting. Lami made the day a lot less boring than any teacher.”
Each school receives workbooks and resources and the Foundation is currently developing a virtual tour of the club, interviewing the key people who work behind the scenes of the business.
The event will be a prime example of how the Government and the Premier League are interested in the potential for more football clubs to help boost enterprise in local communities. The Premier League’s aim to create opportunities and build communities by funding projects that use football and sport as a force for social change fits with the Government’s vision of a country in which many more people have the enterprise skills, aspiration and motivation to successfully start and grow a business and for businesses to be able to access the skilled, enterprising workforce they require for business innovation and growth.