PFA Ireland launched a jobs programme for members who are looking for work during the close-season which for some players runs up to 12 weeks. During this time most League of Ireland players are not paid by their clubs even if under contract.
As most clubs employ players on part-time contracts and with such a long gap in the close-season PFA Ireland are launching a scheme with the assistance of recruitment company, Sapient, and workshops with Riversdale, who deal with personal development, to help members gain employment.
Players should register for the jobs programme though the PFA Ireland website - http://pfai.ie/contact-us - and provide their name, email address and comment ‘I’m interested’ in the comment box. Once numbers are confirmed we will meet with Shaun Elebert, PFA Ireland’s Player Development Adviser, Sapient Recruitment and Riversdale and arrange the next steps in preparing players for employment during the close-season in November 2015 and hopefully this will lead to part-time work which will run in tandem with their football career.
Shaun Elebert said “We saw an opportunity to work with Sapient to get jobs in the niche period, which is Christmas time. If we can get lads into practical jobs, then we can work on getting them educated or up-skilled, while working in that job. They can realise themselves where they can go with that job. The benefits are education, a part-time job and also mental health which is a huge issue in football.
“@FIFPro had a survey out recently which stated 26% of current footballers in Europe suffer with either anxiety or depression. This will help our members who, hopefully, will have jobs come August- September. They won’t be stressed or worried coming up to Christmas.”
PFA Ireland General Secretary, Stephen McGuinness said “Between now and August we’ll look to work with the players in various ways, helping them with CVs, some of them would struggle to see how their skill-sets can be applied to anything other than football but in actual fact those same skills can often be applied very usefully to other jobs and we think there are plenty of employers who will see the benefit of hiring a young, physically fit, disciplined person with a bit of a profile.”
“We have met with our colleagues in IRUPA, the GPA and the Jockeys Association and we have a bit of catching up to do here. IRUPA have done great work with the rugby players as have the GPA but there are differences there; rugby is very rooted in education because of the big part that schools, often private schools, play in the sport while Gaelic players aren’t expecting to be paid and so they’re always looking outside the game in terms of work. Our lads tend to be more like jockeys in that they tend to leave education at 16 and then play until they retire at which point a lot of them realise they’re in a bit of bother. As a Union, we have to react to these findings. We have to look at the fact that many of our members need to re-enter the field of education and that many require skilled training to make them more employable. We have to take action.”
Riversdale will provide assistance with personal development to see which area of employment players are suited too. Players will meet in a group session, and individually, if required. This is all to help players prepare for life outside of football. There are many players who will have joined football clubs straight from school and will have no concept of preparing a CV, the interview process, and actually joining a company other than a football club.
FIFPro have set up an online course, a BA in Sports Management, which is a four-course run by a University in Denmark. Gary Rogers (Dundalk) and David Elebert (Glenavon) are in the second year of the course and Shamrock Rovers goalkeeper, Craig Hyland, is in his first year. Hyland commented “This course is only €300 for a Level Eight degree, it’s 10 per cent of what you pay over here, so for me, it’s a no-brainer.”
To register your interest visit the Contact Us section of this website by Monday 4 May 2015 - http://pfai.ie/contact-us