A NEW scheme which uses football to help young people into work is kicking off in Barrhead.

The Street League initiative gives unemployed people between the ages of 18 and 29 the chance to play sports and learn key skills to help them move into a job.

It is run by the Street League charity, which operates in 14 regions across the UK, with its Sport for Work programme supporting 31 local authorities.

The award-winning sport and education programme is designed to help young people gain the key skills and qualifications required to get into sustainable work and training.

The new academy for people from East Renfrewshire will operate out of Auchenback Resource Centre, in Barrhead, with sessions also being staged at the USK Robertson Trust Sports Centre, near Caplethill Road, Paisley.

Anyone who is aged between 18 and 29 and looking for a job, college placement or training course is eligible to sign up.

A spokesperson for Street League said: “Our mission is to see an end to youth unemployment in the UK and our award-winning programmes have supported 5,851 young people into work since 2010.

“Youth unemployment is still a massive problem. In the areas where we work, up to one in four people aged between 16 and 24 are unemployed, which is a huge cost to the taxpayer and society, as well as the long-term consequences of unemployment on mental and physical wellbeing.

“We think this is unacceptable.”

To sign up for the Barrhead Street League, text or call Caitlin O’Hara, youth and community coach, on 0788 724 6851 or send an email to caitlin.ohara@streetleague.co.uk.