Two off-the-pitch members of the Burnley Football Club team are celebrating National Apprenticeship Week by signing up to Leadership and Management qualifications with Nelson and Colne College Group.

Carl Sanderson, Burnley FC’s Commercial Operations Manager, and Steve Hawthorn, Project Manager and Data Protection Officer at the club, celebrated the occasion by meeting Alison Rushton, Vice Principal for Apprenticeships at the Nelson and Colne College Group, during a ‘Back to the Floor’ opportunity at Turf Moor this week.

Carl and Steve are both eyeing the career progression opportunities that Leadership and Management Apprenticeships can open doors to, and both are looking forward to kicking off their new studies to develop themselves professionally and personally.

Carl, 36, from Burnley, said: “I’m looking forward to starting my Leadership and Management Apprenticeship. One of the things I am often asked about is what I want out of my job, and the answer is progression. I’m always looking better myself and improve my skillset and this is a perfect opportunity to do just that.

“I started working at Burnley Football Club straight after leaving university in 2007 as a Commercial Assistant and I have worked my way up to become Commercial Operations Manager. I really enjoy my job as no day is the same. A lot has changed in the time I have been at the club and my responsibilities have changed too. I’m relishing the challenge of going back into learning to develop my knowledge.”

Steve, 40, from Bradford, said: “I absolutely love the job that I do at Burnley Football Club as I get to work across the departments and I’m part of the Senior Management Team.

“I’ve got quite a broad working background as my degree is in Music Technology, and I worked in entertainment marketing for a number of years.

“I’ve now been in the football industry for 10 years and worked my way up to be Head of Marketing at Bradford City Football Club before I moved to Burnley. I’m excited for the opportunity to gain a formal qualification that is relevant to my career and the Apprenticeship will really help develop my leadership and presentation skills.”

Alison, who is also a Trustee at Burnley FC in the Community, said: “I’m delighted that Carl and Steve have decided to upskill and develop themselves through Leadership and Management Apprenticeships, and it was a pleasure to meet them to learn more about their career aspirations.

“Leadership and Management qualifications are a ‘go to’ qualification for individuals who are aiming high in their career, and Carl and Steve have ambition in abundance.

“Nelson and Colne College Group has a long track record of providing high-quality, flexible and tailored Apprenticeships and training to support employers across the North West region, and I’m proud that we are able to support Burnley FC in its ambition to develop its talented team.”

Following the successful merger between Nelson and Colne College and Accrington and Rossendale College, the range of Apprenticeships offered by the Nelson and Colne College Group has expanded.

Sectors in the Group offer include: Business and Professional Services; Catering and Hospitality; Construction Trades and Building Services; Education and Childcare; Engineering; Hair and Beauty; Health and Social Care; Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Repair; Retail, Sales and Customer Service; Sport and Leisure.

Nelson and Colne College Group is holding its Apprenticeships and Careers Expo on Wednesday 5 February from 5pm until 7pm at Nelson and Colne College, and visitors will have the opportunity to find out more about Apprenticeships, volunteering options and work placement opportunities.

The Nelson and Colne College Group is the number one college in Lancashire for employer satisfaction, based on the government’s FE Choices Employer Survey.

If you are interested in starting an Apprenticeship with the Nelson and Colne College Group, please contact the Apprenticeship Team today by calling 01282 440319 or visit