The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) and London Ambulance Service (LAS) have launched a new, long-term collaboration that will highlight career opportunities for players.
Every season, 600-700 professional players leave the game, and on average, a football career lasts just seven years. The PFA and PFA Charity have always highlighted a variety of different career opportunities, so current and former players can prepare for life after football. Exposure to different career options is also extremely important for younger players and scholars, who often need extra support if they are not offered a professional contract.
The PFA’s London-based Education Advisor, Riz Rehman, and London Ambulance Service’s Bethan Norfor have been in discussions over the past 12 months to explore ways in which both organisations can collaborate to provide future careers for PFA members. Through this new initiative, which will be followed by others, LAS will regularly communicate future career pathways for PFA members who may be looking for another career after football.
Riz and Bethan recently organised a ‘Careers in London Ambulance Service’ workshop for QPR’s under-18s at the QPR Heston Academy Training Ground. The 90-minute workshop was an opportunity for the young players to learn about the different opportunities available at the service, including apprenticeships and call handling routes. They also spent time learning about the life-saving equipment frontline medics use in their vehicles and took part in a Q&A.
QPR’s Academy Liaison, Adam Kaliniecki said: “Central to our Academy ethos is developing our players as people as well as footballers. An important part of this is preparing them for life outside of football, whenever that time may come. The support that that the PFA can provide to young players now, and after their playing careers, is invaluable.”
Bobby Barnes, PFA’s Deputy Chief Executive and President of FIFPro, attended the event, saying “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the London Ambulance Service to provide future career pathways for our current and former players. We will be working closely with LAS to ensure players are well informed about all the education pathways and career opportunities LAS have to offer.”
Pauline Cranmer, Director of Ambulance Services at London Ambulance Service, said: “Working for London Ambulance Service is an experience like no other. Every one of our 8,000 employees and volunteers play a part in helping people who need us the most – whether that’s in a role directly caring for patients, or in one of our corporate departments providing the support to deliver the care. A career that offers fantastic job satisfaction knowing you have helped someone. We’re really excited to be partnering with the PFA. It’s a great opportunity for new career pathways for members and we look forward to working closely together.”
LAS are the busiest ambulance service in the UK, attending more than 3000 emergencies a day and handling over two million 999 calls every year. Their crews serve the health needs of 8.7 million Londoners across 32 boroughs, home to 12 professional football clubs across the Premier League and EFL.
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There are a number of ways in which PFA members can work for London Ambulance Service. To find out more, click here.