Improving open spaces and their own job prospects

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A group of young people have signed up for a double whammy – 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, where young volunteers will be able to pick up real-life work skills along the way.

It’s being run by Central Bedfordshire Council and community charity Groundwork Hertfordshire, and is the ninth time the training scheme has taken place in Bedfordshire.

The Green Team will get to grips with general maintenance at Millennium Green in Shefford, as well as building a pergola, laying paving and constructing raised beds for Dunstable’s Downside Sheltered Housing Scheme residents to enjoy.

They will then really put their skills to the test at the Academy of Central Bedfordshire in Stotfold by creating a horticultural centre and a small farm, as well as taking part in a team-building day with construction firm Willmott Dixon.

The team will work towards City & Guilds qualifications in land-based studies and employability skills as well as a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card – crucial for work in the construction industry.

Director of Children’s Services Sue Harrison said: “Schemes like this really do help to transform young people’s lives by offering them vital skills and work experience, as well as a direction in life when they may have previously been wondering what to do with themselves.”