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Weston Mill

Recycling centre provides apprentices with career kick-start

Weston Mill Household Waste and Recycling Centre’s apprenticeship scheme

“The job is very varied and no day is the same. I really enjoy educating the customers in recycling and explaining why certain types of waste have to be recycled.” Dan Temlett, Apprentice

Groundwork has run the Weston Mill Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) for Plymouth City Council for almost four years. We provide apprenticeships to local young people, many of who have been long-term unemployed.

Weston MillEach of the apprentices has 15 months of training and hands-on work experience, learning key skills about the industry while individually benefiting by (for example) increasing their confidence, working as part of a team, time management and learning to work with the public. 

Additionally, managing the centre provides Groundwork with a great opportunity to achieve our charitable objectives.  We’re able give staff and apprentices excellent work experience in the (ever growing) waste industry, while gaining relevant qualifications.  

What have we achieved? 

Since managing Weston Mill from May 2011 we have: 

  • dealt with nearly 500,000 car loads of rubbish
  • diverted 20,000 tonnes of waste from landfill.  
  • provided 10 Level 2 Environmental Conservation Apprenticeships (through Bournville College)
  • provided 8 Level 2 Waste Management Operations Apprenticeship opportunities through our partnership with City College, Plymouth.

We achieved an 80% success rate with our last group of apprentices, a result we intend to replicate with our new apprentices that start in October 2014. 

Weston MillThe majority of our apprentices have successfully found employment since their time with us, while the others have continued into further training. 

Dan Temlett said of his experience, “I’ve really enjoyed being here. It was eye-opening to get stuck into a job and be given responsibility to work as part of a team to run the Mill. Looking back I’ve learnt loads of skills like asbestos handling and had first aid training - learning things I never imagined and made some great friends too. Being here has given me a leg-up to getting a job and getting a qualification is a major bonus.”

Importantly for Groundwork, through Weston Mill we have been able to inspire the public to re-use and recycle – 72% of all waste brought to Weston Mill last year was recycled.   

Link: Career-changing apprenticeships celebrated

Groundwork South—Devon & Cornwall Area
Pilgrim Pavilion
Saltmill Lane
Cornwall PL12 6LG

Read more about our partnerships with local authorities.