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HOW AN INNOVATIVE SMARTPHONE APP CREATED BY A PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALLER IS HELPING UNEMPLOYED YOUNGSTERS INTO WORK

Football fans across the country might still be in a state of despair over England’s shock exit from Euro 2016.

But at least one social enterprise is providing a much-needed reminder of the sport’s continuing power for good.

North Wales-based outfit Vi-Ability have created an innovate smartphone app which aims to teach crucial business skills by challenging users to run their own virtual football club.

Football CEO lets users hire and fire managers, set ticket and food prices, negotiate contracts, balance the books, deal with players, secure sponsorship and look after your own stress and fitness levels – all while trying to take your team to the top of the league.

The interactive game has been created by former Arsenal, Liverpool and Wales footballer Kelly Davies, who founded Vi-Ability three years ago.

The enterprise was founded to provide training opportunities for young people who are not in education, employment or training.

They offer training, work experience and qualifications in commercial sports management, and place young people into part-time administration and community development roles at sports clubs around the UK.

To date they have helped around 3,000 individuals, with more than 80 percent of placements leading to full-time employment.

They also run projects that place individuals in two-week work placements with clubs across Europe including Spain, Germany, Sweden, Holland, France and Italy, and are expanding into other sports such as hockey, tennis, swimming, and cricket.

In addition, they also operate an advisory scheme for sports clubs and sport governing bodies who are seeking information on how to start or improve community campaigns.

The business has previously won the Prime Minister’s Big Society Award and was named 2015 Social Enterprise of the Year.

“The launch of Football CEO marks a significant step forward for our mission to use sports to help people develop employability and life skills,” says Kelly.

“This app is not only available to the general public but will form a key teaching tool that can be used in the day to day delivery of our programmes.

“We’re delighted to be able to use technology in an entertaining way to help motivate people back into work and we hope it has a real impact on those who use it.”

The application, which can be downloaded from The App Store or the Google Play Store, costs £1.99 with all proceeds invested back into Vi-Ability.

For more information about Vi-Ability and Football CEO, visit: www.vi-ability.org

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