Network A Facilitating access and return to the labour market for those who have difficulty in being integrated or reintegrated into a labour market which must be open to everyone.
Project name Sportspeople on the Labour Market
Project number A0262

Project description

The Partnership was established by key sports associations, educational institutions and businesses to bring about a system enabling ex-sportsmen to enter the labour market upon closing their athletic career.

A survey headed: "Sportspeople on the Labour Market: Diagnosis and Assessment of Labour Market Exclusion, Discrimination and Inequalities" was carried out under Activity 1. According to the survey, the athletes as late as in their thirties are confronted with the requirements of the open labour market. Most of them are completely unprepared for the challenge. Throughout their athletic career they are spared any incentives to prepare themselves, while doing sports for competition prevents them from gaining education and job experience. As a general rule, sportsmen have secondary vocational or primary education; only a small fraction of them have graduated from higher schools. On the other hand, professions that are best suited for former competition sportsmen (fitness trainer, sports trainer, sports coach, professional sportsman) are plagued by a high rate of unemployment. Another concern is the status of those sportsmen who had to withdraw from sports career for disability caused by an injury or post-traumatic illness. Sports associations offer them ad-hoc aid only, while a system approach enabling occupational and social integration of ex-sportsmen is still to be developed.

Final beneficiaries of the Project are 180 athletes and 10 job counsels of the first contact. The Partnership is planning to develop an occupational integration methodology for sportsmen and work out direct technical/mental support measures. The key concept behind this methodology is to promote the idea that career path should be planned well ahead of retiring from sports. Partnership operations are intended to put in place a system for transfer of information between those organisations whose mission is to care for sportsmen's life. An efficient cooperation of sports associations, clubs, Job Advice Centre for Sportsmen, vocational counsels of the first contact, employers and sportsmen themselves is a precondition for overall success of the idea to
promote employment of ex-athletes.

The pilot project, to be implemented in Silesian, Małopolskie, Dolnośląskie and Łódzkie Voivodships, will include three stages. Stage One will involve a thorough analysis of the problem, working out vocational counselling methods and development of training curricula and training materials.

Stage Two is intended to establish a vocational counselling system at sports associations and to provide sportsmen with access to psychological assistance (to improve living skills and motivation). In addition, training will be provided in starting a new business, information/communication technology and specific trades (management of sports organisations, sports marketing and activities). Counsel's and beneficiary's performance will be monitored with "Individual Progress Card", while training certificates, beneficiary's sports career history and his/her predispositions will be entered to Europortfolio. A sort of dossier will be created to present skills, vocational development and mobility across EU Member States, while supporting the idea of open labour market.

Candidate job counsels will participate in session focusing on the causes and structure of unemployment among active sportsmen. They will also acquaint themselves with tools for testing vocational predispositions, learn how to motivate athletes to pro-active job seeking and provide them with technical and mental support.

Stage Three will focus on a promotional action on the theme "A Good Sportsman is the One with Academic Degree", as well as on lobbying for legislative framework of continuous development among sportsmen and the financing of education/career path of active and retiring athletes by the government.

Furthermore, it is planned to enable higher schools to provide active sportsmen with distance learning options and develop teaching curricula that take into account their responsibilities and capacities.

The Vocational Counselling Centre for the Sportsmen shall be a lasting outcome of the Project. The Centre operating a database of jobseekers and available jobs shall be responsible for ensuring cooperation with employers. Sportsmen will be provided with free-of-charge psychological and
vocational advice, as well as with information about available vocational training events.

A proven sportsmen vocational counselling method of general application and its underlying methodology background shall be the object of dissemination.

The Partnership is planning to share the results of its activities with all those responsible for the fate of sportsmen, including sports schools, training providers, the Ministry of Sport, Polish Olympic Committee and Sports Councils.