Arsenal and Spurs score with youth life skills schemes

Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur football clubs are helping disadvantaged teenagers get footholds in the jobs market.

Under the Spurs scheme headed by Jermain Defoe, children who are leaving the care system are paired up with mentors and taught life skills at White Hart Lane.

At Arsenal, teenagers who are not in school, work or training, can sign up for a 12-week “employability” qualification, where they are taught interview techniques and timekeeping.

The first 25 teenagers graduated from the Arsenal course on Friday and most have been given jobs with the firm that provides match-day food at the Emirates stadium.

Defender Abou Diaby recorded a message of congratulations for the students. A spokesman said: “The fact this is run at Arsenal gives it extra impact for getting the local kids involved.

“They might be reluctant to do it if it was in school, but the fact that it is in a stadium makes a difference.”

The scheme is run with education company Pearson, and City and Islington College. Students leave with an “Arsenal Employability Qualification.”

The Spurs project, known as E18hteen, was named after Defoe’s shirt number. The club was presented with a Quality Mark award from children’s minister Tim Loughton.

The project aims to get 160 teenagers back into education, employment or training by July next year.

Mr Loughton praised Defoe for mentoring teenagers in the project, saying: “He is personally invested in it, and hasn’t just put his name to it. I have met kids who have gone through.

“This gave them a confidence boost and they were given opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have got.”

Paul ChampionStrategic Project Manager

Mobile: 07540 704920

Sent from my iPad

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