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Gray launches new course for unemployed

A former professional footballer who runs his own Academy is looking to pilot an innovative new course to benefit unemployed people.

Ex-Sunderland and Darlington midfielder Martin Gray, who runs the rapidly-developing Martin Gray Football Academy (MGFA), will run the Government-backed ‘Skills for Life’ course during the February half-term holiday.

The two-day course, available to people aged 19 and over, will focus on improving numeracy skills, incorporated into football to encourage learning and the participants’ chances of finding work.

Held at Greenfield Community College in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, Gray and his team, consisting of coaches as well as qualified teachers, will help learners to improve their numeracy by at least one level.

Gray said: “We’ll use football-related numbers to educate the learners, so for example we’ll have a coaching session and then we’ll talk about how numeracy links to the session, such as percentage of passes completed, area of the football pitch and boxes as well as league tables and other football statistics.

“We’ll also do a lot of work in the classroom to improve people’s numeracy skills – again, using football as the inspiration – which will hopefully improve their chances of finding employment in the long run.

“The courses are completely free and fully accredited, with the aim to make sure every learner increases their numeracy by at least one level, regardless of their current level.

“So although the course is initially designed to be 16 hours in length over two days, we’ll work with them as long as it takes for them to gain the qualification.”

Skills for Life qualifications are based on national standards, so everyone, including potential employers, can see what you’re capable of.

They’re recognised to boost confidence, improve CVs and provide stepping stones to other courses such as NVQs.

The MGFA Skills for Life course will be held during the half-term break, on Tuesday and Wednesday February 14 and 15, at Greenfield Community College.