The Long Game

WACFL have recently partnered with Directions Workforce to develop a new initiative; a flexible community based employment model designed to meet the modern workforce development needs of the Wheatbelt.  This initiative is called The Long Game.

For your community

The Long Game creates local partnerships, bringing together the local football community, local employers, and local service providers to support and strengthen our communities.

Attracting and retaining young workers and entry level jobseekers into regional towns is an ongoing challenge for the whole community. The very factors which inhibit the attraction into towns often also contribute to migration out of towns and regions, with many, particularly in the 16-29 year age bracket leaving in pursuit of a wider range of employment and training prospects.

And for many regional towns, sporting clubs and associations provide vital social and sporting services and opportunities, and are a vital part of the fabric of the region. Currently, many clubs need to pay drive-in drive-out players just to field a team, and that money leaves town with those players. For every $1 paid for with club funds and local fundraising, the town is potentially losing up to $4 when that investment leaves town again.

The Long Game targets the challenges of both attracting and retaining skilled workers in towns and regions by providing meaningful career opportunities together with the opportunity to play country football.

By retaining the player within the district the benefits to your community also include:

  • The money the club/district pays is reinvested in local businesses and service providers.
  • Families and partner relocation brings other skills to the region.
  • For players with young families, a boost to the local school populations.

Once qualified, participants will have established roots in the community and this can encourage them to remain in the region on a permanent basis, adding to the local skilled labour market or as a potential new local business owner.

For your business

The Long Game has been developed as an innovative solution to help solve some of these issues.

Many businesses have difficulty recruiting entry level workers due to the limited local labour market and limited local career pathway options in many occupations and industries.

Additionally, workers often require some guarantee of sufficient hours for ongoing or full time employment. This limits the ability for employeers to grow your businesses and benefit from apprenticeships and traineeships.

Through The Long Game program, the apprentice/trainee can be hosted by one entity, for example, an Automotive Technician (Heavy Agriculture Equipment) apprenticeship hosted at the local equipment servicing business. The full apprenticeship can be undertaken in the one business, as most people have experienced them, but there are alternatives.

The apprentice/trainee can also be hosted under a ‘shared’ arrangement where more than one business can be involved, for example a trainee undertaking a Certificate in Agriculture could work with two or more farm operators.  The ‘hosting group’ would collectively provide the equivalent of full time hours for the trainee.

This arrangement would work particularly well for the farmers that would not otherwise have sufficient work for a fulltime position but could provide work and training for someone on a part-time basis.

The hosting group could also be made up of a variety of complementary businesses or organisations, including other local businesses or even the local council.

Directions has the flexibility to recruit and manage the apprentice/trainee in a manner tailored to best suit the needs of each business, be it farmers, businesses large and small, and associations and clubs, and each placement.

The program also entails participants committing to play country football for local clubs. We know a lot of Wheatbelt businesses also sponsor and/or support their local football clubs, either directly or indirectly. 

The Long Game means the money you contribute would no longer be needed for paid drive-in/drive-out players and could instead be reinvested in the town at their discretion, in providing initial accommodation or redirected towards the cost of the trainee or apprentice.

It’s a win-win. Your business builds skills, attracting and retaining people into our towns, especially young people, which in turn boosts the regional labour market, and local money stays in town and gets spent at local businesses like yours.

For yourself

Fancy playing for one of our great country WA football clubs and undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship program at the same time?

The Long Game provides opportunities for enthusiastic individuals who would would like to work, play, and live in regional WA.

We are currently seeking expressions of interest from interested young people and ‘mature age’ people (21 years and over).

Not only will you get to play football, you will be earning and training towards a nationally recognised qualification via an apprenticeship or traineeship. We are working with employers in a range of industries, so please specify the trade or occupation(s) you are interested in.

For further information contact the WACFL or Register your interest and upload a copy of your resumé or CV via the form on the Directions website

Please include the details of your football playing experience.