Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald has called on local employers to help young unemployed people in the area by providing work placements to a charity which uses football to tackle youth unemployment.

Street League uses the power of football to support 16 to 24-year-olds into work and training. It provides an award-winning 10-week programme which helps young people develop key employability skills with CV-writing and mock interview sessions. They also acquire nationally-recognised numeracy and literacy qualifications.

Participants also get to play football every day and, at the end of the programme, which is supported by Barclays, they move into work placements with local employers which have been brokered by Street League’s aftercare staff. 

The MP attended the graduation of 20 young people from the Street League Academy based at Southlands Leisure Centre.

He said: “I am delighted to support the innovative work of Street League. This is a brilliant programme which gets young people fit and motivated through fun football sessions, and then provides crucial support to find work and training.

“We’re looking for more employers to come forward and support these young people with work experience placements, which can make a big difference to their CVs as they look to move into the world of work.”

Paul Shepherd, Operations Manager for Street League Tees Valley, said: “We’d like to thank Andy for supporting today. Now, thanks to the support of Barclays, we’re looking to push on and work with more young people and employers across Middlesbrough.”

Paulette Cohen, Head of Global Programmes at Barclays, said: “Barclays is proud to be supporting Street League, enabling this programme to work with young people in Middlesbrough, as well as Leeds and Birmingham. Street League is part of Barclays’ wider commitment to help young people gain the skills to get into work, and the success of young people like today’s graduates is evidence of how this partnership is making an impact.”

If you are aged 16 to 24 and out of work, or are an employer keen to engage with Street League graduates, contact Paul Shepherd on 07584 504976 or at [email protected].