Derby College teams up with Derbyshire County Cricket Club to boost students’ employability skills

Derby College teams up with Derbyshire County Cricket Club to boost students’ employability skills

Derby College and Derbyshire County Cricket Club have joined forces to launch two specialist skills academies to better prepare young people for the world of work.

The Cricket Derbyshire Sports Academy will be based at The 3aaa County Ground from September. Students will complete a BTEC Level three sports qualification, train alongside the Derbyshire squads and gain specialist skills and work experience in areas such as coaching and event management.

The Cricket Derbyshire Hospitality Academy will also launch in September. It will be based at Derby College’s Engine Shed training restaurant where young people will complete nationally recognised qualifications.

Students will also benefit from a wide range of hospitality placements and paid work at the various banqueting and hospitality venues at the cricket ground – working alongside the club’s Derbyshire Experience conference and events operation.

Derby College Business Director, April Hayhurst, explained that the Cricket Derbyshire sports and hospitality academies were being launched in response to identified skills gaps and growing job opportunities in both sectors.

“Sport and hospitality are growing sectors both locally and nationally and are key elements of the visitor economy which is a key growth area in this area identified by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

“The College’s innovative employer-led academy programme was spearheaded by Hodgkinson Builders recently with the launch of the Hodgkinson Bricklaying Academy and this partnership with Derbyshire County Cricket Club is the second stage of our expanding programme.

“By working with employers, we are shaping the curriculum to their needs and ensuring that students benefit from direct input from industry professionals in the workplace. The young people also gain valuable work experience and paid work opportunities – whether that is coaching young people or working at the county ground at events.

“This approach ensures that our students develop both the technical knowledge and the skills and attitudes that employers need – addressing skills shortages in the workplace to help businesses and organisations grow.

“It also ensures that our students are work-ready with the employability skills they need to get jobs and be successful in their future careers.”

Ms Hayhurst continued that the hospitality sector in particular faced extensive skills shortages and that research had shown that, by 2020 the sector required more than half a million more staff.

“We need to show young people that hospitality jobs are not just an opportunity for part time or student work but is a recognised career path with fantastic progression opportunities in a variety of work settings.

“By working with Derbyshire CCC, our students will learn from industry professionals and have paid work that will help them to build their CVs for future careers.”

Derbyshire CCC Commercial Director, Ryan Duckett, continued: “Having invested heavily in the conference and events facilities at The 3aaa County Ground, we are keen to ensure that the Derbyshire Experience for our customers is serviced by local staff.

“Working with Derby College will ensure that we train and employ local people who are keen to enter the hospitality industry and provide them with the professional and social skills for them to succeed in the workplace.

“Members of the Cricket Derbyshire Sports Academy will also gain a valuable insight into the wealth of jobs available in cricket – on and off the field which they can take with them into the industry through whichever route they choose – jobs, apprenticeships or university.

“We look forward to the launch of both academies in September.”

An information evening about the Cricket Derbyshire Hospitality Academy will be held on Wednesday July 15 at Derby College’s Roundhouse campus in Pride Park between 6pm and 8pm where potential students can learn more about the programme.

Then on Friday July 17, an information evening about the Cricket Derbyshire Sports Academy will be held at the 3aaa county ground. Those interested in the Academy will be invited to attend at 6pm for a short presentation and will then be invited to stay and enjoy the T20 Blast game between the Derbyshire Falcons and Worcestershire Rapids.

To register for both events, please visit

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