Melbourne City FC and MatchWorks have combined to deliver City at Work, a program uniting football and job skills for young unemployed individuals to boost their confidence, change their lifestyle and improve their chances of finding ongoing employment.
Run in Preston, City at Work participants undertook a seven-week course, combining weekly football skills sessions and job search training. Of the 13 participants, three individuals finished the program prior to graduation due to successfully finding employment.
Josh Marshall, a 22-year-old Sport Management graduate from La Trobe University and City at Work participant, spoke about the program’s benefits in helping him seek employment following his graduation.
“City at Work helped me hone in on important skills needed to seek employment following the conclusion of my university degree,” Marshall said.
“I improved my communication skills and my interviewing skills, we did a mock interview with Dave [from MatchWorks] which was really helpful as well. It’s extremely beneficial because you’re given the opportunity to experience real life situations and scenarios.
Marshall not only highlighted the importance of the MatchWorks training program, but also the benefits of incorporating football into the sessions.
“The football aspect of the sessions was a real highlight, as a very competitive and sporty person, it was great to be given the opportunity to get out of the classroom and learn new skills,” he said.
Prior to completing his university degree, Marshall began volunteering on match days with Melbourne City’s commercial team. Speaking on his experience, the 22-year-old said his time at City has played an invaluable role in his development.
“Learning the inner workings was extremely beneficial, I didn’t do too much hands-on work but it was more so the learnings that I took from watching on and taking knowledge from those around me,” he said.
“Not only did I track Nikki Drost in the commercial team, but I was also with operations one day and watched how that all went with the key timings and that sort of thing which was really interesting and very different. It was vital to gain industry experience and network – meeting different people and trying to introduce myself to as many different people as possible,” he added.
“Overall, City at Work was important in improving my skills to gain industry experience and employment, and I would recommend the program to others.”
Sue Crow, Melbourne City FC Head of Community said: “We are really proud of our innovative football and job skills programs that we run with MatchWorks. A recent Impact report shows that the football component really helps participants to engage with the classroom activities and quickly brings people together. We wish Josh all the best with his job search. He is certainly doing all the right things with his volunteering and we will assist him where we can.”