Sport and Physical Activity

Coach Core

The county's leading apprentice programme for young people

Launching in late 2022, Active Essex are now offering their 5th Essex Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core helps apprentices to build their confidence and skills in the physical activity sector, as well as provide them with the ability to experience different groups, people and scenarios, setting them up for the future.

Reaching 16–24-year-olds who are not in education or employment, Coach Core in Essex continues to deliver an inclusive and impactful sports coaching apprenticeship that develops the talents of young people and provides them with a range of vital skills for sport, work and life.

AE Whos it for
Who's it for?
Young people aged 16-24 in Essex
AE Prime
Prime Objective:
to support young people into sports coaching apprenticeships
AE Second
Second Objective:
to develop young people’s talents and provide vital skills

Across 2023, Active Essex worked with a number of organisations to deliver the Coach Core programme, also welcoming two new organisations to support the delivery for young people.

All partners who have participated worked closely within the wider Active Essex work such as delivering the Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme, received Find Your Active funding, delivered programmes to encourage their community to get active and are also seen as a trusted organisation to work with young people.

apprentices completed the Coach Core programme
locally trusted organisations involved
new organisations were onboarded to deliver the Coach Core programme

This year, Coach Core, Active Essex and Lifetime have met regularly with employers to discuss the success of the programme and reflect for the future. Work experience was a vital part of Coach Core, as it enabled young apprentices to experience community sport settings such as delivering after school clubs and support Essex ActivAte sessions.

In preparation for their assessment, Active Essex brought employers and apprentices together. This included a presentation about the young apprentices’ time with their employer, projects they were involved in and a chance for the apprentice to share their learnings. Employers supported the young people by providing insight, advice and encouraging actions to take away and practice.

After completing the programme, young people have expressed that they are looking to go into sports coaching, continuing with their employer or working within a local school.

We were so grateful that David and Bailey could join us at Coach Core’s Partnership Summit to share their experiences of Coach Core and help our partners understand the journey that young people often go on during the programme. I enjoyed how open and honest they both were during their reflections; Bailey shared what he thought he’d be doing if he hadn’t found Coach Core and David talked about how some of the apprentices that had been taken on by Changing Lives simply weren’t ready to take advantage of the opportunity, which emphasised just how remarkably driven Bailey is. I could also see how impressed people were to hear about Bailey’s determination to be a sports coach from the age of 17 and they were thrilled to see that he’d be continuing to work alongside Changing Lives after the apprenticeship programme comes to an end.
Claire Webb, Director Of Development, Coach Core

Active Essex and Coach Core have worked in partnership for many years, therefore have been able to adapt and try new ideas, helping to improve and enhance young people’s apprenticeship experiences.

Key Learnings

It's important to take time to reflect and understand the learnings from work undertaken, in order to focus on ways to improve in the future.


Face to face

Getting together to experience real-life scenarios were more engaging than online sessions


Mentor relationships

Offering initial support in person strengthened the employer and apprentices’ relationship