Nine celebrate Green Brigade success

Nine young people who were previously not in work or being educated have celebrated taking part in a ground breaking project aimed at giving them new skills.

Nine celebrate Green Brigade success

The 12 week Green Brigade programme was put together by a partnership of organisations including the Pride In Your Community programme, the Turnaround project, Telford Job Box, Parks for People and the Telford Green Space Partnership.

It set out to provide participants with opportunities to make progress as well as taster sessions in land based careers at Harper Adams University.

The nine participants received training in literacy, numeracy, employability, landscaping, conservation, gardening, fencing, paving, brick laying, tractor driving, chainsaw use, tree pruning and garden design.

All the participants who successfully completed the course will now be interviewed for a council apprenticeship in environment.

The nine took part in a celebration of their achievements at Harper Adams. They included 19 year old Joshua Podmore, from Apley, who was revealed as the most outstanding student on the programme. He will now receive training and assessment at the university worth £700.

Practical Green Brigade tasks were designed to help the young people take pride in their community, improving the area around Telford Town Park by installing fencing and brickwork, carrying out scrub clearance and planting.

Councillor Shaun Davies, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Employment and Skills, said: “I am delighted with the way the young people taking part in Green Brigade have responded to the programme and made significant progress.

“This proves our approach is working. We are totally committed to raising the aspirations of the borough’s young and the best way to do this is to increase their skills to make them more appealing to employers.”

One of the partners supporting the Green Brigade project is the Turnaround programme, which is funded through the European Social Fund and co-financed by the Skills Funding Agency.

The European Social Fund (ESF) was set up to improve employment opportunities in the European Union and so help raise standards of living. It aims to help people fulfil their potential by giving them better skills and better job prospects

As a result of the council’s commitment to tackle youth unemployment in Telford and Wrekin, the figure of people aged 16-24 who are out of work has more than halved in the twelve months to September 2014.

As well as projects like the Green Brigade, Telford & Wrekin Council has also launched the Job Box which was set up to pull together a range of education, training and employment support.

Its services have helped many local people into employment including young people and many more are now being supported.

The Council will also host its second Partnership for Jobs Fair on Wednesday 18 March, followed by a Partnership for Careers event on Thursday 19 March, at The International Centre.