IF Elfsborg visits Dutch clubs to learn and exchange ideas

13 April 2018

IF Elfsborg visits Dutch clubs to learn and exchange ideas

On Monday and Tuesday 9th and 10th of April 2018, representatives of IF Elfsborg and the city of Boras visited the Netherlands to exchange knowledge and ideas about football-based employability and education programmes with Vitesse Arnhem and Feyenoord Rotterdam. Such one-on-one study visits have become a more regular service that EFDN is offering to their members in order to provide the opportunity to learn about best practices on a European-wide level.

EFDN one-on-one exchanges for sharing best practices

The European Football for Development Network believes that sharing best practices between member clubs can have a major impact on the quality of their programmes. Bringing clubs together to exchange experiences provides the opportunity to make existing programmes more efficient, and it gives the opportunity to set-up a new programme with a club that is more experienced in a certain field.

Learning and sharing about employability programmes

IF Elfsborg runs currently in cooperation with the city of Boras the European project “Work Together”. Young people are supported in finding work in local businesses or organisations. In the project “Future Together” unemployed people are given the opportunity to participate in a project, in which they help young people to find their way back into employment.

In order to expand their employability and education programmes further and improve their existing programmes, in April, IF Elfsborg and a delegation of the city of Boras visited Vitesse Arnhem and Feyenoord Rotterdam. The two Dutch clubs have years of experience in delivering various football-based employability programmes for different target groups.

Theoretical and practical knowledge transfer

On the first day of the one-on-one exchange, the delegation from Sweden was welcomed by Vitesse Arnhem at the GelreDome. In the stadium, the guests received a detailed introduction about the employability programme “Vitesse Werkt” (Vitesse Works) given by two of the coaches of the programme. In a group discussion, ideas and knowledge were exchanged. The discussion did not only prove valuable for the Swedish delegates but also for the Vitesse coaches who were able to learn about IF Elfsborg’s programmes and thus a Swedish approach towards integrating individuals into the working environment.

Following the practical session, the group was invited to attend a training session of the Vitesse Werkt programme. The programme is a youth employability programme that is divided in two different branches; one for young refugees from Eritrea and one for Dutch young individuals. The participants train twice a week during the six-month football programme and additionally work on their employment skills as; writing CVs and job applications, building a social network, and creating a realistic self-image. In addition, participants learn about their strength and have the opportunity to find out about fields which they would like to work in.

After the practical session, the group had the opportunity to visit the Dutch Olympic Training Centre, Papendal, which is also the training ground of Vitesse Arnhem. At the Papendal facilities, the group from Sweden received additional information about Vitesse Betrokken, the foundation of the football club.

Exchanging ideas in Rotterdam

The following day, the representatives were invited to Feyenoord Rotterdam’s stadium De Kuip. After being welcomed by General Manager Jan de Job, Ton Strooband who is next to being the manager of the CSR department EFDN’s chair, gave a presentation about the Feyenoord Foundation.

Afterwards, the delegates had the opportunity to learn in a practical and theoretical sessions about diverse education and employment CSR programmes. Among others, the group visited the Project Assist and learned about the foundation S.V. GIO. Feyenoord Rotterdam delivers since years numerous employability programmes and was eager to share their experience. Among others, attention was paid to the Job Scorer programme. Each year, the Job Scorer programme offers many young people a place within the environment of the football club and supports them with finding a job. Often, a placement is being found in one of the companies with which Feyenoord partners.

In the afternoon, Hubert Rovers provided the guests with more in-depth information on the European Football for Development Network. The presentation was followed by the Erasmus University highlighting their newly established research project which the university delivers in cooperation with the Feyenoord Foundation. The research will among others assess the impact of employability programmes of the foundation.

Future one-on-one exchanges to share knowledge and learn

Also, in the future, EFDN will facilitate the exchange of knowledge through workshops and seminars between member clubs. We are looking forward to seeing even more clubs participating in these one-on-one exchanges, strengthening the Network and improving the quality of community programmes on a European level.

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