Norwich City FC unlocks the power of apprenticeships by partnering with Ignite Training

Posted on: 7th Dec 2023

Norwich City FC is investing in apprenticeships to provide staff with the option to obtain a vocational qualification as part of their full-time employment.

The EFL Championship club has partnered with Oxford-based registered training provider Ignite Training to deliver its Level 5 Operations Manager course, which is equivalent to obtaining a foundation degree.

Ian Lowe, Player Support Officer at Norwich City FC, is the first apprentice to benefit from the partnership.

He said: “Opportunities for professional development like this are valuable at all stages of your career.

“I have a degree in Sports Coaching, a PGCE and more than 13 years’ professional experience, but enrolling in an apprenticeship has provided me with new skills and better knowledge of the operations management aspect of the role.

“By giving existing staff the option of studying an apprenticeship, the club is investing in the future by enhancing its education and welfare offering to the benefit of players across the academy.

“We’re really pleased to work with the Ignite team – they are well organised, communicate clearly and have a professional, responsive point of contact who is knowledgeable about the industry.

“I highly recommend an apprenticeship to anyone thinking of ways to boost their skillset as part of their career development.”

The Level 5 qualification takes between 12 and 18 months to complete and educates learners how to understand key business development tools, lead multiple and remote teams and how to approach partner and stakeholder relationships.

Education is delivered both remotely and in-person via group and one-to-one sessions with Norwich City staff able to access funding to enrol staff onto the programme which is suitable for learners of all ages.

Justin Merritt, Ignite Training CEO, said modern-day apprenticeships serve all sectors and are available to people of all ages and experiences.

“We’re proud to be working with Norwich City FC, building on our existing relationships with professional football clubs such as Queens Park Rangers, Birmingham City and Solihull Moors.

“An enduring misconception about apprenticeships is that they are reserved for post-GCSE school leavers and have a narrow focus in terms of industry and profession.

“Nothing could be further from the truth. Our course portfolio is broad and empowers apprentices with choices to succeed in a range of career paths, from teaching assistants and coaches to content creators and operations management.

“Thanks to apprenticeship levy funds, apprenticeships are also a cost-effective way for clubs to invest in their workforce.

“I would encourage all professional football clubs to consider apprenticeships to realise the full potential of their people while improving job satisfaction and staff potential.”

Further information about Ignite Training’s apprenticeship provisions which support careers in coaching, teaching, leadership, marketing, content production and more are available via

About Ignite Training

Established in 1999, Ignite’s primary aim is to actively inspire people, and to help create a sense of achievement for everyone. Based in Oxford and operating nationally, we provide a portfolio of training and services to individuals, schools and the sports industry, ranging from weekly clubs for tots to adult courses and apprenticeships.

About Ignite Training