IT HAS been all change at Oxford United recently, with a change of chief executive and coach.

The club has now emerged from the takeover talk and speculation and begun work on the pitch.

So it is great news it is working just as hard off the pitch.

Its plan to help up to 600 unemployed young people from across the city is warmly welcomed.

The club has always been a strong part of the community and its commitment to our youth only strengthens this.

The United We Achieve scheme is a fantastic opportunity for 15- to 21-year-olds to transform their lives.

Many will be those struggling at school or not in full-time employment, education or training (NEETS).

Instead of being propped up by the state, these youngsters can learn the skills and confidence to step out on their own.

And to do so at the Kassam Stadium, under the umbrella of the football club, is sure to be a huge motivational factor for all of them.

With support from businesses, they will be able to do work experience to give them knowledge of real workplaces and the demands of working life.

And with the city council on board too, the scheme looks to be on to a winner.

The words of U’s defender Michael Raynes are encouraging: “I’m currently studying to be a teacher when I finish my footballing career so I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the workshops.” The Oxford Mail hopes the club can continue its success both on and off the field.