Croydon College students reach the top with jobs at Crystal Palace FC

By - Monday 7th July, 2014

At least 90 youngsters from Croydon College were successful in their applications for various job positions within Crystal Palace Football Club thanks to a new partnership

Students Frank Ntiamoah, Mine Orizu and Ibrahim Abass get stuck into the creative assessment.
Photo used with permission.

Whilst many students will be at home watching players at the World Cup making all the headlines, youngsters at a local college will be working hard in a football environment of their own, after earning jobs at a Premier League football club.

Croydon College students have been limbering up to apply for a number of different part-time jobs in retail and hospitality, as well as in the kitchen and behind the bar, thanks to a partnership with Crystal Palace Football Club.

It is not the only success story to have come out of the college in recent weeks, with their A-level students undertaking a project to write a crime novel in five days.

Back on the job trail however, more than 90 students out of the 121 applicants  have secured jobs with the Premier League side.

Two people who may fear their jobs are under threat are the club mascots – Pete and Alice the Eagle, after students were required to create a new mascot as a task during the interview process.

They were required to give a one minute presentation on why their new mascot should replace the existing mascots at the club.

The successful students were told whether they had scored success by 25th June and will be invited to attend training sessions at the club during the summer, although they won’t quite be mixing with the likes of Mile Jedinak and Julian Speroni.

“Croydon has the highest number of unemployed 16-24 year olds in London”

Art student, George Oforom who will study at university in September said; “I’m very excited about the possibility of working for Crystal Palace. I love football and, this is a great job opportunity.”

The scheme is part of the college’s employability initiative, offering students work experience, voluntary placements, paid jobs and apprenticeships by working with a number of different employers to boost the students’ opportunities.

Frances Wadsworth, principal and chief executive of the college believes the partnership with the club has proved a roaring success.

She said: “The scheme will have a number of benefits, including helping students to gain real, paid work experience, develop their employability skills, interpersonal and communication skills and enable successful students to access valuable training available at the club.”

Wadsworth added: “Croydon has the highest number of unemployed 16-24 year olds in London, and we’re working hard to change that.”

Emma Richardson, assistant head of catering at Crystal Palace, was equally pleased with the link-up, saying: “We are thrilled to be forming a partnership with Croydon College, being based in the heart of Croydon we are very much a community club and it’s a great way of reaching out and working with local talented individuals.”

It is not the only partnership Crystal Palace has with a local school, with the Oasis Academy Shirley Park providing opportunities for young academy footballers to continue their education as well as allowing scholars to benefit from the most time-efficient football coaching. Meanwhile, Palace also has a link with independent school Hornsby House, which is based in Dulwich.

Matt Woosnam

Matt Woosnam

Matt Woosnam is a Kingston University student in his final year as a Politics & International Relations undergraduate. A campaigner on mental health he is the founder of @Talk_Out, as well as part of the TalkEasyTrust, and seeks to break down stigma by encouraging talking out. Matt is also an avid Crystal Palace fan and the online editor of Five Year Plan Fanzine, as well as a regular contributor to the Croydon Guardian.

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