Apprentices give RITC education seal of approval


To mark National Apprenticeship Week 2018, Reds in the Community are focusing on the apprentices currently studying for their qualification.

Shannon Durkin and Jack Cadman are both involved with the Community Trust as they look to progress a career in sports coaching.

Education courses at RitC offer a completely different learning experience to that of schools as instead of purely classroom-based teaching, our students learn on the job in a practical and engaging environment.

Both Shannon and Jack admitted that this has a been a particularly beneficial aspect of their apprenticeship.

“I think I learn more from actually doing it, going out to other places and gaining more experience,” said Shannon. “Rather than just sitting in a classroom and getting taught how to do it, you’re actually delivering it and learning new things every day.”

Jack added: “In a classroom you can read about it and could become an expert in reading about it, but you’re not actually doing it. When you’re out and about it’s easier to learn and you progress quicker as well.”

Shannon and Jack are hoping to work in sports coaching upon the completion of their qualification and have already picked up plenty of experience whilst working towards it.

Shannon said: “Especially if you’re wanting to go into coaching, it’s a good place to be. You’re surrounded by Barnsley Football Club, it’s a good place to learn and develop your coaching. I’ve learned a lot and gained a lot more confidence in coaching.”

“It’s a good start off even if you’re not ready to go into the working environment,” Jack continued. “I started with them and I’ve progressed up to the apprenticeship. They start you off but then you get the experience from going into schools and other bits. It’s definitely worth it if you want to coach. I’ve learnt a lot of life skills alongside improving my confidence, talking and communication skills.”

Reds in the Community education officer Mark Crossfield oversees the programmes and activities offered to students studying at Oakwell.

While Shannon and Jack are both hoping to move onto a career in coaching, Mark explains that the skills gained on the education courses improve employability in other job sectors and says that the pair of apprentices have been fantastic to work with.

Mark said: “These skills can be transferable into all types of employment. Your basics of getting to work on time, being prepared, making sure that your appearance is good – maintaining those high standards go a long way. Shannon and Jack have done that. They’ve also been pro-active. Instead of waiting to be told to sort something, they’ve been trying to see if they can have their own responsibility.

“Shannon and Jack have both been a pleasure to work with. Both have a great attitude to coaching and to work. They’ve got good personal skills and have slotted straight in. Jack and Shannon both wanted to become a coach and they’ve been able to achieve that in a sporting environment. That’s by working with primary schools, helping out at soccer camps, getting involved in the Fit Reds programme and walking football. They’ve had a whole bunch of coaching experience from grassroots to something a little bit more elite.”

Click on the video at the top of this page to watch the full interview with Mark.