May the fourth Green Team be with you

May the fourth Green Team be with you

A group of young people have signed up to improve local green spaces and their job prospects at the same time.

They will make up the Green Team, a 12-week employment training scheme that mixes practical work with classroom-based sessions, giving the young volunteers real-life work skills along the way. The scheme is run by community charity Groundwork with funding from Braintree District Council in partnership with Greenfields Community Housing.

The Green Team will be doing a range of minor construction, green space improvement and maintenance work at various sites across the Braintree district. They’ll learn skills from building allotment beds to planting up flower beds.

They’ll even spend some time benefiting a local community orchard – the volunteers will create raised growing beds for Silver End Edible Orchard and will also try their hand at installing a water harvesting system to provide the site with a natural water source.

The team will also work towards City & Guilds qualifications in employability skills and practical horticulture as well as a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card – crucial for work in the construction industry. And they will also aim to boost their job prospects by improving their maths and English through Functional Skills qualifications. At the end of the course, they’ll be put through their paces with mock interviews, to provide them with valuable experience, encouragement and feedback.

Cllr Tom Cunningham, Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Braintree District Council, said: “We’re passionate about giving young people in the Braintree District opportunities to reach their potential, gain skills, knowledge and confidence. This project is a great way to get young people into work. Braintree District Council is proud to back the scheme and I wish the new Green Team all the very best with their training.”

Sandra Crosby, Housing Director at Greenfields, said: “The Green Team has proved to be a huge success in the three previous rounds, with at least 12 out of the 18 participants now in full-time employment. It's hugely rewarding to see them benefiting from the experience and to know we’ve helped them along the way. The work the Green Team does within our communities is fantastic.”

Matt Lawday is a former Green Team member who is now a full-time Estate Ranger with Greenfields; helping to keep their estates clean and tidy. He said: “It’s great going home at the end of the day knowing you’ve made a difference to people’s lives.”

To find out more about this Green Team, contact Chris Houghton, Employment Project Supervisor, on 07889 755981 or chris.houghton@groundwork.org.uk.