Huntingdon residents gain Green Skills

06/06/2014

A group of local volunteers will boost their chances of employment by gaining skills and experience over the next few weeks in Coneygear Park, Oxmoor.

Starting this week (Wednesday 4 June), 15 Huntingdon residents aged between 16 and 65 will work together on the Green Skills project, run by Groundwork Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, the community charity with a green heart.

The group, all of whom have an interest in construction, landscaping or working outdoors, will spend 2 days a week for 6 weeks improving the park for the community to enjoy. They will do things like constructing large timber raised beds, building garden benches and planting up various areas.

The volunteers will also benefit from the project; they will work towards a City & Guilds Level 1 Award in Employability and Personal Development as well as a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) health & safety card, which will make them eligible for work in the construction sector.

They will also develop their interview skills, polishing them through a mock interview with local business people – an exercise that has, in the past, led to participants securing jobs.

The employment support won’t end there: Groundwork will continue to help participants once the project finishes, through the Grassroots project.

Chris Dungate, Groundwork’s Employment Manager, said: “It’s great to launch our third Green Skills in the district. It’s a brilliant example of how our broader Grassroots employment programme helps local people into work by combining practical work experience with support in softer skills like interview technique or job searching.

“Not only will participants learn new skills, they’ll also meet others in the community and improve their confidence – all important steps on the path to employment, training or further education.”

The Green Skills project is part of a year long project funded by the by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Economic Partnership’s Prize Challenge Fund, with match funding contributions from Huntingdonshire District Council and Urban&Civic and will include future projects on the Alconbury Weald development.

Rebecca Britton, Urban&Civic’s Head of Communities and Partnerships said:
“This project follows on from two pilot schemes carried out by Groundwork on Alconbury Weald last year to help us create our Community Tree Nursery. That project had great results and working with Groundwork, the District and Town Council, Jobcentre Plus and Hunts Regional College, the partnership have developed a really strong programme of opportunities and support over the year – all supported by the LEP’s Prize Challenge funding. We look forward to the next Green Skills project being up at Alconbury Weald later in the year.”
 

Background Notes:

Groundwork’s partners on this Green Skills project are Huntingdonshire Regional College and Huntingdon Town Council. Green Skills/Grassroots is funded by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Economic Partnership’s Prize Challenge Fund, with match funding contributions from Huntingdonshire District Council and Urban&Civic.

For more information about Green Skills, please contact Chris Dungate, Groundwork’s Employment Manager, on 07872400778 or Chris.Dungate@groundwork.org.uk
For more on Grassroots, contact Rachel Kelly, Grassroots Project Manager, on 07889755091 or Rachel.Kelly@groundwork.org.uk – or read the blog at www.groundwork.org.uk/grassroots