City Start begins with football and fun

Melbourne City FC through their charity City in the Community and local employment provider MatchWorks have teamed up again to help unemployed young, culturally and linguistically diverse men boost their confidence, change their lifestyle, and improve their chances of finding ongoing employment through new community initiative, City Start.

State politicians and government officials joined Melbourne City FC CEO Scott Munn and Karingal CEO Mike McKinstry to launch the program at the club’s Bundoora headquarters this week.

City Start participants with Melbourne City FC coaches after their first football training session.

City Start participants with Melbourne City FC coaches after their first football training session.

City Start is a six-week program which combines intensive employability training and community migrant supports with weekly football training sessions for male job seekers aged up to 30 years old. The program is a follow-up to the successful City Sisters program which ran last year.

Participants will link in with community services which will help them break down cultural barriers, integrate with the community and gain access to important services including legal, health and financial assistance.

Melbourne City FC will work in conjunction with MatchWorks to provide job seekers from the Preston and Epping areas with an opportunity to learn about active and healthy living while developing their employability skills.

Melbourne City FC Head of Community, Sue Crow, said City Start was a pathway for job seekers to connect with employment through football.

“It’s all about giving these young men the opportunity to become the best person they can be,” she said.

“Participants come from a range of culturally diverse backgrounds and we feel that football is a great way for them to connect with the community. Hopefully we will see other benefits that we saw in City Sisters such as new friendships and improved fitness levels as well as employment outcomes.

“We’re really looking forward to achieving fantastic results for the participants and everyone involved.”

MatchWorks Acting Chief Executive Mark McCoy said the innovative program introduced participants to a wide range of community services.

“City Start participants will get access to MatchWorks Job Search Training Hubs, they will hear from employers and government agencies, and they’ll visit community organisations to get a feel for the services available to help support their transition to lasting employment,” he said.

“Melbourne City is co-ordinating the football training sessions and that’s also an exciting opportunity for these guys. The core aim of this program is to have every participant in the group gain meaningful, lasting employment.”

City Start participants took part in their first football training session directly after the launch.