The stewards were each presented with a Spectator Safety Level 2 Certificate at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium ahead of Spurs’ first Premier League home match against Manchester United on 19 August.
The 62,850-seater stadium is considered to be one of the best stadiums in the world and has also hosted many other sporting events including NFL games, rugby and boxing; as well as music concerts by Guns N’ Roses, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
More than 400 stewards at the club have enrolled on the Level 2 programme since the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) began running it in 2020, to gain practical skills and knowledge in all aspects of spectator safety for events.
Around 30 stewards looking to gain skills for steward supervisory roles at the stadium have also started training for their Spectator Safety Level 3 Certificate this year.
Lewis Taylor, 19, who was among those completing the Level 2 Certificate, said: “Working as a steward feels a lot more purposeful than other jobs. Here, I feel I contribute a lot more and I’m playing a vital role in the security of the stadium.
“I’ve become more assertive and confident and learnt to put my foot down without being rude or aggressive. I now feel I can handle the responsibility and provide a high level of safety.”
Thomas Wheelhouse, 18, who also attained the Level 2 Certificate, said: “When I started, I thought it would just be about scanning people’s tickets and taking them to their seats, but during the course I learnt so much more about how to keep people safe and make sure they have a good time.
“Anything can happen so quickly, and if I panic other people will. Knowing what to do in an emergency means I am able stay calm under pressure and deal with it. There’s a lot of responsibility, but we have a good team and everyone works so well with each other.”
Shiv Emmimath, Head of Employability and Trade Union Education at CONEL, and Zoe Smith, Safety Officer at Tottenham Hotspur, presented the Level 2 Certificates to the stewards.
Shiv said: “CONEL is the biggest education provider in the local area and Spurs is the largest employer with the best stadium in the country, so it made sense for us to work together.
“We provided funding to train the club’s stewards and co-designed a fantastic bespoke programme with them. The qualification sets the benchmark for spectator safety qualifications across the country. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it’s delivered at Spurs, enriched by real-event scenarios that enhance the learners’ experience.
“This programme has achieved remarkable success over three years in developing the skills and knowledge of every steward protecting the spectators on event days.”
Eileen Williams MBE, Head of Event Safety at Tottenham Hotspur, said: “Our partnership with CONEL has gone from strength to strength and been a great success. They have listened to our business needs, supported us with funding and our achievement rates are good.
“As part of the working agreements for the new stadium, we’re required to engage and work more with the local organisations and a quarter of our workforce and on event days must come from the local area, so the college was a natural link for us when it came to training our stewards.
“We look forward to continuing to grow or relationship with CONEL and are committed to investing in our people and giving local residents career opportunities to better the community.”