Support for a green start

by Jan 27, 2021Future Skills Commission for Prisons, Social investment

As has often been said of late, we’re facing unprecedented challenges as a nation.

Those challenges are many and significant – global economic trends, a changing climate and now an unforgiving pandemic. All of these forces impact first and worst on those in our society who have least, adding to the structural inequalities that have been affecting parts of our country for decades.

Supporting those who need it most

Groundwork was established 40 years ago to help drive change in communities impacted by economic challenge, social unrest, and environmental issues.  Our work to support those who are marginalised and disconnected from the economic mainstream, to build the capacity of local community organisations and to help local small businesses stay competitive and operate more sustainably has never been more important. 

Like many others in the voluntary sector, we’ve had to respond quickly and learn difficult lessons to transform our service offer and continue to provide support to those who need it most.

We’ve managed to do that in a variety of ways.  For example, in Blackpool we’ve supported the local authority by managing a food distribution programme on a local housing estate.  We’ve worked with NEET young people online and via telephone to ensure they can continue to access vital training and employment opportunities.  Our Green Doctors – community workers trained in domestic energy advice – continue to find ways of delivering energy advice to those suffering from fuel poverty remotely, working closely with local agencies to ensure that every contact counts.  Over 8000 community groups were able to benefit from £4m of emergency funding that we awarded on behalf of the Tesco Bags of Help Covid-19 Communities Fund. 

Key to our ability to provide that support to communities has been strong, effective partnerships. 

Sustainable jobs to reduce reoffending

This is why we were delighted to have been awarded a grant through the City & Guilds Foundation’s Future Skills Commission for Prisons for our Green Start programme, which will enable us to develop and deliver a new learning programme in prisons, focusing on employment pathways into the green economy. 

Green Start will work closely with employers to tailor content in order to prepare participants (cohorts of male and female offenders) for real ‘green job’ opportunities – for example, domestic insulation, retrofit, sustainable construction – upon their release.  By offering ‘through the gate’ employability support, the programme will offer continuity and support to participants in the crucial period following their reintroduction to society, aiming to secure employment that is critical to reducing the risk of reoffending.

Green Start was conceived prior to the coronavirus pandemic, and although the current restrictions have delayed the start of delivery, we believe its scope and purpose is even more relevant and necessary than when we first envisaged it if we are to address barriers to employment in what will be an even more competitive job market.  The concept is being met with continued enthusiasm and support from employers despite the difficult economic conditions, who see opportunities to progress their commitments to operate more sustainably and deliver social value.

This should all provide us with some degree of comfort that, despite the obvious challenges, we are all committed to working together to build back better towards a green recovery when the pandemic is finally under control. 

For more information about our work to support communities in need, please visit www.groundwork.org.uk.

2 Comments

  1. Nicola Gibbins

    Good morning,

    i have just been sent your link, could you provide me with some information on how you engage with men in prison custody? What steps need to be taken for you to engage with them? How soon prior to release do you link up with them? Are there any requirements from the prison and the prisoners? Are there any barriers for applicants ?- such as nature of crime. Would appreciate any feedback.

    Reply
    • Andy Harrison

      Thanks for your interest in the Green Start project. We will be working with cohorts of prisoners in HMP Forest Bank and HMP Peterborough who are due to be released from custody within the next 6 months. The model will enable us to deliver a programme of training, personal skills development and career inspiration activities whilst they are in custody, before we start preparing them to get ready for work and specific job vacancies prior to release, then offering ‘through the gate’ support to help them secure employment as soon as possible upon release. There will be a selection process for each cohort to ensure that participants are motivated and ready to learn – this is the key pre-requisite to getting involved in the project. Should you wish to learn more about the project, do feel free to contact us directly and we can tell you more about our plans.

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shaking up the cis-tem: LGBTQ+ inclusion

On Tuesday 22nd June I had the pleasure to attend the fourth webinar of the I&D series ran by the City & Guilds Foundation. The session's primary focus was how to best support members of the LGBTQ+ community bring their authentic selves to the...

Fair opportunities: employing prison leavers

The second in a series of I&D events hosted by the City & Guilds Foundation went live on Tuesday the 8th of June, this time focusing on inclusion in the context of employing people with lived experience of the justice system. This event featured...

Breaking down barriers: race inclusion

On Wednesday the 2nd of June, I attended the first in a series of I&D events being hosted throughout the month by the City & Guilds Foundation. This event, which was focused on the topic of race inclusion, featured an insightful...

There’s no such thing as an average person

The third event in the City & Guilds Foundation I&D series was on Wednesday the 16th of June. This time the focus was on developing neu​ro-inclusive workplaces. The speakers were Prof. Amanda Kirby, founder of website DO IT Solutions and Helen Needham, founder...

Youth Voices

It's been a busy few months, with lots of events happening and many opportunities to share mine & the Foundation's views on what we can do to support young people, especially those facing barriers, to engage with employment, now and into their future. Youth...

A warm welcome to our new Council Members

As part of its Royal Charter, City & Guilds has a Council, made up of external partners who provide advice and guidance on our work and are actively involved in how we serve the needs of our learners and employers. We are delighted to welcome our most recent new...

New bursary launched to help Londoners get back into work

Created in response to the impact of the pandemic on London’s labour market, the new £50K London Bursary Skills fund aims to remove barriers to help Londoners quickly upskill and find work Today, the City & Guilds Foundation – part of skills organisation City...

The impact of investing in learning and development

The Princess Royal Training Awards are one of the flagship Awards and Recognition programme of the City & Guilds Foundation. They are all about celebrating best practice. We are delighted that we received 97 applications in 2021. Of those 97 applications, 49 have...

The real impact of the pandemic on young people

Snow-Camp are the UK’s only charity using a combination of snowsports, life-skills training and mental wellbeing support to help young people from inner-city communities. Working at the indoor snow centres in London, the North West, the Midlands and Scotland, we also...

A partnership that’s making a real difference, to real people

The City & Guilds Foundation and The Educators’ Trust have teamed up to provide mental health first aid training for a team of advisors delivering vital services to vulnerable young people.  The training which also includes essential digital skills will be...
Share This