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25-year-old Fiona came to us with a background in the
environment. She already possessed a BSc in Environmental
Biology and an NVQ in Environmental Conservation, as well as 3
years practical habitat management experience as a volunteer. She
was claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance and had been out of work for one
and a half years before starting work on the Future Jobs Fund
Fiona was employed by Groundwork on the Future
Jobs Fund Scheme and placed with the Sherwood Energy Village. She
worked as a horticultural worker and her main tasks were trimming,
mowing, weeding, litter picking, digging and tree
transplanting. She worked in a team of 4 with a supervisor
and deputy in charge of the team. The entire team worked on the
general day to day maintenance and upkeep of the site. Fiona
wanted to gain practical horticultural skills through this role and
was attracted by the nature and wildlife present. The group
were set daily tasks and weekly objectives as a team and
Fiona felt that the scheme was 'very useful,
because it means I have been working outdoors, a career that I
want. It also means I have had a job for 6 months and have
been able to afford to pay for driving lessons - an essential skill
for all the jobs I have been applying for'. Indeed, the practical
skills Fiona gained as well as the driving lessons meant that when
she applied for an interesting job, she was the favoured candidate.
The only thing she needs to get the job is to pass her driving
test, which she hopes to do in the next few weeks.