SIXTY students aged 12 to 15 from four secondary schools took part in an inspirational business enterprise day at the Amex Stadium.

The session forms part of a national programme jointly funded by the Premier League and Sport Relief.

The programme is run locally by Albion In The Community (AITC), Albion’s official charity, with extra funding and volunteer support from American Express.

The Premier League Enterprise programme focuses on the day-to-day operations of professional football clubs to engage and inspire students in enterprise education.

Using the backdrop of football club business models, areas covered include the fan experience, financial matters, attracting customers and managing the business.

Over the course of the day, students were given an introduction to Albion’s commercial activities, job roles and skills needed and a stadium tour focusing on the matchday experience of supporters.

Working in small groups and supported by Amex volunteers, students took part in a series of interactive workshops and team challenges involving creativity, problem solving, resilience and communications.

Paul Williams, schools manager at AITC, said: “Premier League Enterprise is a fantastic programme and we are incredibly fortunate to also have the support of American Express volunteers who are able to share their experience and expertise with the students taking part.

“I was delighted to see the most recent intake of schools get started on the programme and I look forward to seeing how the pupils taking part develop their skills and confidence over the coming weeks.

“The programme is a great way to showcase AITC’s work with local schools: using football to improve young people’s health and wellbeing, education and aspirations.”

Schools taking part were rottingdean’s Longhill High, Varndean in Brighton, Felpham Community College in Bognor and The Littlehampton Academy.

Beverly Sawyers, vice president at American Express, said: “This is an innovative programme that uses the power of football to inspire and engage young people and help raise achievement levels.

“We are proud to be supporting an initiative that encourages young people from across Sussex to take an interest in the world of work and help them make the most of future opportunities.”

Over the coming months, students will take part in six two-part lessons designed to motivate learners and help them develop essential enterprise and employability skills using football related themes such as teamwork and resilience.

Students will be invited to a celebration event at the Amex in July to reflect on learnings from the programme and to recognise team and individual achievements.

Danny Davies, teaching assistant at Varndean School, said: “It’s been a real pleasure to attend the Premier League Enterprise programme hosted by AITC.

“The kids have been participating in activities designed to teach them the eight core ‘enterprise skills’: communication, confidence, financial capability, initiative, organisation, problem solving, resilience and team work.

“These skills will be vitally important to them as they move into the world of work.

“ I can sense a real buzz and enthusiasm in the kids.”