Meet the Manchester United Foundation Trainees

Our partnership with the iconic English team expands and enters a new chapter with Manchester United Foundation and its trainee apprenticeship scheme.

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Our partnership with Manchester United is about more than just suits. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a pleasure and an honour to see the players wearing Paul Smith on their way to matches, but for the next chapter of our collaboration with the team, we wanted to give back to the rich community at Old Trafford and beyond.


That’s where Manchester United Foundation comes in. The initiative has existed since 2007 and, so far, has hosted over 14,000 events at schools and projects. “We use football to engage and inspire young people to build a better life for themselves and unite the communities in which they live,” the foundation explains. “Dedicated staff deliver educational and community outreach programmes to help young people make positive choices in their lives.”

Teaming up with the Foundation’s trainee scheme – which offers paid placements in everything from hospitality to coaching – Paul Smith committed to providing graduates of the programme, in whatever field, a tailored suit to wear to interviews and prepare them to enter the world of work.

In addition, one of the trainees was offered a position in the Paul Smith Manchester shop and, alongside this, the company will support the city’s local youth by organising and hosting wider workshops for young people preparing to embark on their career, with the goal of offering them advice and skills they need to succeed in the workplace.

We caught up with three of the trainees – Millie, Mark and Joe – to see what they’ve learned so far and how the traineeship has helped them get a leg up on the job ladder.

Mark Brent, Partner High Schools

Manchester native Mark has been involved with Manchester United Foundation for over 10 years, getting started when he was just 8 years old attending youth sessions. Now he’s doing his part to give back and give young people in the area the same opportunities he was given.

“I started on Street Reds when I was 8 and when I was 16 I started volunteering. It gave us a massive community feeling in the area: the life skills that the session taught us, because the coaches are more than just football coaches.”

Millie Stringer, Manchester United Hospitality

The perennially cheerful Millie spends her days serving guests and clients in the Old Trafford hospitality suites. It’s a demanding job, she admits, but her contagious smile and bubbly spirit goes a long way.

“I work in the hospitality suites. A typical day at Manchester United? It’s fun and exciting and there’s lots of different things that you can do. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is how to handle people and customer service.”

Joseph Horrocks, Paul Smith Manchester shop

As a result of the Paul Smith partnership with the Foundation, Joe was offered a placement in our shop in Manchester, where he built his confidence. In the future, he’s looking forward to pursuing his dream role: to be a physiotherapist for the team.

“I went into coaching and I also went into a little bit of retail. It got me out doing work, learning hands on. They’ve showed me how to approach a customer, because I did struggle with that, when I first came.”

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