Trainee Thriving in AFL Licensing Program

Trainee Thriving in AFL Licensing Program

AFL House Trainee

AFL House trainee, Charlie Garner, is excelling in his role working in the largest sports licensing program in Australia. He is currently completing his second traineeship with AFL SportsReady and is studying a certificate IIII in business, after a very successful year in his first traineeship.

Charlie is on track to follow in the footsteps of AFL Consumer Products Manager, Jessica Tedge. Who like him began her career in the Licensing Department at AFL House as an AFL SportsReady Trainee.

“At the beginning of my traineeship, I had no knowledge of the Consumer Products industry and how much work goes into producing merchandise. Especially in an organisation like the AFL, where merch is a pinnacle part of the fan experience,” said Charlie.

“I review and approve all different kinds of merchandise, from scarves to footy cards and everything in between to ensure they can continue to produce innovative and exciting items,” Charlie added

Traineeships are all about giving young people the opportunity to explore what they are most passionate about and help them decide on the right career pathway.

Getting his foot in the door early, Charlie is well on his way to a successful career in consumer marketing. He has already learnt many invaluable skills throughout his traineeship at the AFL.

“I have learnt how to build and maintain relationships with various stakeholders and team members, how to think innovatively and what goes into running a licensing program. I have also gained skills in time management, organisation, stakeholder management and overall, many skills needed to work in business,” said Charlie.

AFL SportsReady Trainees are supported every step of the way by a field officer and educator. Supervisors in the workplace also play a vital role in supporting Trainees and providing valuable on-the-job work experience.

“Having the AFL as a host employer has been great! They are welcoming and passionate about giving all of their trainees an opportunity to succeed. I feel like they value my input and treat me like a permanent team member, rather than just a trainee,” Charlie said.

By taking on a traineeship, Charlie is living out any young person’s dream. It may sound daunting having the AFL as a host employer. But this workplace has provided him with a positive and supportive environment.

“I have really enjoyed having the opportunity to involve myself in AFL events and really experience what working in the AFL has to offer. Such as working on Grand Final Day and in the Grand Final Parade.”

Evidence of Charlie’s success in his role is that he was nominated for trainee of the year by Jeremy Moore, the Senior AFL Licensing Account Manager. For consistently delivering in a high-pressure industry with strict timelines, as well as his contribution to projects including being the lead on a sample sale that raised over $20,000 for charity.

Charlie believes, “why not start your career at top, in an incredible environment where you get paid to gain skills on the job, meet great people and build relationships in an industry you are passionate about.”

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DATE: 29th of November 2022 | AUTHOR: Eliza Peterson | Edited 28 Feb, 2023
IMAGE: Charlie Garner

This series includes current and former trainees demonstrating the benefits of the traineeship program, and how this pathway allows them to follow their passions.

This article is part of our partnership with the National Careers Institute (NCI) to highlight the real benefits of Vocational Education and Training (VET)