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Last updated: 11.28am, Thursday 26th October 2017 by

PFA Scotland are helping their members prepare for life after football by putting them through FREE IT Skills courses.

In conjunction with Scottish Union Learning (SUL), who have provided funding, and the City of Glasgow College, who run the courses, the Players Union are helping their members take the stress out of making the step from the football pitch to the world of employment.

The first of the fully accredited courses, which run every Wednesday from 10am-2pm, kicked off at ST Mirren’s Stadium, in Paisley, last month with the aim of giving players the ability to competently use a computer and the Microsoft Office Suite – skills they will need for future employment be it in coaching, an office environment or setting up their own business.

Michael Hart, Personal Development Officer at PFA Scotland, said: “As a former player myself, I know only too well that football doesn’t last forever and the sooner you start planning for it the better.

“We are here to help the players with putting their Career Exit Strategy in place and making them think outside the box. The IT Skills Course is the first of many courses and projects we will be involved in as we reach out to the players and make them focus on planning for the day they hang up their boots.

“We are very grateful to Scottish Union Learning for their funding support and the lecturers at City of Glasgow College who have been fantastic with the players. We’d also like to thank Tony Fitzpatrick and St Mirren for allowing us to use the stadiums Press Room to host the course.”

Players on the first course include St Mirren trio Stelios Demetriou, Gary Irvine and Adam Eckersley alongside Morton rivals Gary Harkins, Bob McHugh and Michael Doyle along with Peter MacDonald (Stirling Albion), Mark Durnan (Dundee United) and Mark Millar (Forfar).

All players will receive an accredited certificate at the end of the course.

Wendy Burton, Director, Scottish Union Learning said, “We are pleased to be working with PFA Scotland to support the development of accredited IT Skills among those working within the football industry.

“IT skills are becoming increasingly important within all areas of employment, and this is a great example of trade unions once again taking the lead in developing the skills of workers beyond their current job roles.”

Mark Pollitt, from the Trade Union Education Department at City of Glasgow College added: “We are delighted be supporting this exciting initiative, which offers PFAS members the opportunity to develop new skills that will help them through-out their working lives both within and beyond their football career.

“The initial feedback from course members has been extremely positive and evidences a real thirst for learning opportunities such as this.”

There will be further courses this season in Falkirk – run in conjunction with the Chris Mitchell Foundation – Motherwell and Dundee.


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