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Why Everyone Is Obsessed with LBA Employability Initiatives

Entrepreneurship is woven into the culture here at the London Basketball Association and it is probably a deciding factor that keeps us motivated and fresh on a daily basis. Considering how malnourished the industry is as a whole in funding & infrastructure, the statistics show that the demand for basketball continues to rise. This allows the LBA and anybody else involved access to what we would call a ‘blue ocean’. This is an industry with a lot of potential for growth across a variety of elements, such as the positive social impact it has in tackling prolific areas in society like obesity, mental and physical health, postcode wars unemployment and equality to name a few. As an organisation, we are able to create much needed projects and work with the vast resources London has to offer. The LBA has always been an exciting organisation to be a part of as it continues to grow year-on-year, building a foundation that reaches more and more communities and impacts individual’s lives.
Our employability strategy has become our biggest program to date. There are a number of factors to be considered, which will be looked at more deeply throughout this article.

Collaborations

Right now, we are focusing on making the right collaborations with other organisations who share a common goal; we can leverage off of one another to use each other’s resources in making a deep impact on the people we serve. So far in 2021, we’ve already collaborated with organizations like Ultra Education, UpskillMe, The Duke of Edinburgh Award and the London Youth Games to benefit our members via our employability program. We are also in the process of working alongside EduKit, while we continue to collaborate with and work alongside AllOfficials, London Youth, Sported and Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.

Ultra Education

Ultra Education is a perfect fit when it comes to partnering with us in order to benefit our community, as their head office is in the same building as the LBA, although they operate nationally. They teach young people aged from 7 to 18 years old about entrepreneurship. By doing so Ultra Education runs programs which help these young people to come out of their comfort zones and challenge themselves in the right areas. By exposing the youth to the unique opportunities and chances to showcase their innovative ideas they aim to develop the business sharks of the future. They support them to start a business and teach what it takes to be considered a contender when entering the entrepreneurial world.

Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Another collaboration we will expand upon is the Amsterdam University of Applied Science. It is known to be the number one sports course in Europe; AUAS hand-pick their candidates depending on their life goals, ambitions and what they’ve achieved so far rather than if they can pay the tuition fee. The selected top 16 candidates will arrive to London at the end of April 2021. They will focus on three of LBA’s biggest problems. It’s their tasks to solve the problems and come up with the solution viable enough to work with the LBA’s resources and support systems. This should be wildly beneficial for our community as it will help us expand into areas that we do not know much about, which will result in us getting more unique insight on the way we can help. Furthermore, one of LBA’s key objectives is to be able to send young Londoners to Amsterdam to enrol on a sports course to gain new and beneficial experience.

So what is the LBA employability program?

The LBA Employability Programme consists of volunteering, gaining qualifications, being mentored and eventually getting paid. 70 young people from all around the world get involved with this program every year. Our aim is to double this number in the next year as our provisions take on an easily accessed virtual application form.
We have just become approved providers of the Duke of Edinburgh Award for two of their strands: volunteering and skills. This means that they will be promoting LBA volunteering opportunities nationally in order to get more volunteers on board Volunteering opportunities include a number of roles like coaching, refereeing, table-officiating and being a member of our sports media crew. We also have office-based roles in marketing, accounting, human resources, operations, data and IT. We can give an eclectic and multi-faceted experience to those who are trying to find their way and to those who know exactly what they want to do. To date, we have qualified over 550 individuals and paid over 200 of them. If the Covid pandemic never hit us, we’re sure this number would’ve doubled!

What's the connection between basketball and employability?

In his own words, our CEO Tony Lazare describes his story and the connection between basketball and his professional career: “Basketball is the determinant factor that allowed my network to grow, earned me an income, allowed me to socialise, got me an education, allowed me to travel, and allowed me to help others.” Basketball is a great vehicle and it’s so much more than just a game. We are highlighting this so other people can understand this and make good use of it.

Awards and Support

Last but not the least, the LBA has won:
  • The Entrepreneur Award
  • The Innovators Award (2017)
  • The Brent Business Awards
LBA has advisors/mentors for a variety of different areas, but mostly we are passionate, and committed to the work that we do!
We have a number of opportunities to take up now, but some which will be coming out in the future so stay tuned and keep a lookout via our social media accounts, newsletter and website.