Black History Month has once again been observed throughout the UK, promoting and celebrating black history and heritage in our communities...
On A-Level results day, however, young people fare, it’s important to keep those results in perspective and remember that there are a variety of routes to educational success.
One of these is the Future Pathways programme, run by the Cardiff City FC Foundation. The official charity of Cardiff City Football Club developed the programme to provide an alternative style of learning to mainstream education for those leaving secondary school. The programme supports young people through structured learning opportunities, career advice, and mentoring to become work-ready or progress into further education.
The programme offers young people the opportunity to unlock their potential without the pressures of mainstream education, focusing on developing soft skills within a flexible environment.
The Foundation had to react quickly during the pandemic to adapt its services to ensure that children and young people could access much-needed support during a time of crisis.
We had to adapt to support our learners
Through a blended learning approach, they supported young people on their Future Pathways courses to continue to achieve their full potential and progress into further or higher learning and employment.
The Foundation offers internal progression opportunities through the programme, supporting young people to study towards a BTEC Level 1 and BTEC Level 2 in Sport and alternative college courses.
80% of Future Pathways students go on to further education, employment, or training, and 77% report improved positive attitudes towards accessing education, employment and training opportunities in the future.
Here are the inspiring stories of two learners that chose to study on the Cardiff City FC Foundation’s Future Pathways programme. They both have bright futures ahead thanks to their hard work, dedication, and the targeted support they have received.
After completing her BTEC Level Two qualification in digital media studies, 19-year-old Amira decided she wanted a change from mainstream education.
She found it tough to access any support or advice within her local community, which had a negative effect on her self-confidence. Amira was worried that her future in education would suffer as a result.
Amira also wasn’t sure what topics she wanted to study, or which courses would be suitable for her, which held her back from achieving her full potential. However, after deciding whether or not to start an apprenticeship, Amira crossed paths with the Foundation through Careers Wales and enrolled in our BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport.
Amira is one of many young people to benefit from Future Pathways
Amira successfully passed all her modules and excelled in the Foundation’s unique learning environment with the support from our tutors, and has been accepted to study Sports Science at Cardiff Metropolitan University in September.
"After I left college, I felt like I didn’t have anywhere or anyone to turn to and help me decide on what to do with my future – I was worried I’d made the wrong decision and it was going to ruin my chances of going to university.
"I’ve benefitted so much from studying with Future Pathways. I’ve made new friends and studied in a fun way. Learning with the Cardiff City FC Foundation has helped me plan my future and get my career path back on track. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!"
Jack is 18-years-old and was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of 8. His condition meant that he sometimes found his school environment stressful and uncomfortable.
Towards the end of his Year 11 studies, one of Jack’s former teachers suggested that he may want to consider a non-traditional learning route through the Future Pathways programme with Cardiff City FC Foundation. A few of Jack’s friends were already a part of the programme and encouraged him to explore this option.
Jack has found clarity on what his future will look like
After enrolling on the Foundation’s BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sport, Jack didn’t look back. With support from the Foundation tutors and his classmates, the course provided Jack with a further boost to his self-confidence.
As well as gaining additional educational qualifications, Jack has also seen improvements to his self-esteem. So much so that Jack is considering applying for a career in the Royal Navy.
"I chose Cardiff City FC Foundation as some of my friends said how much they enjoyed the Future Pathways project; my course has given me an opportunity to enjoy and achieve in a different educational environment.
"I’ve been really inspired by the tutors at Cardiff City FC Foundation. They have helped me realise and achieve my goals, as well as helping me to explore future career options."
Jack’s parents Andy and Kath said:
"The Foundation and Future Pathways has helped Jack progress so much, and we’re delighted to see the benefits he has gained during his BTEC studies.
"The tutors have been great, especially with all that’s happened with COVID, and we’d honestly recommend the course to anyone – you won’t regret it."