Both businesses and local authorities are determined to improve skills for employability, particularly among young people and those not in education, employment or training. This means ensuring more young people thrive in school, helping those at risk of dropping out to become re-engaged in learning and increasing the take-up of traineeships and apprenticeships.
Jack Loughlin, Salford City Council
"By working collaboratively and pragmatically with existing support services and providers, Groundwork is contributing towards the decline in the number of NEET young people in Salford."
Groundwork has a national network of Achievement Coaches, trained youth workers providing one-to-one and small group support to help young people achieve their full potential and avoid becoming NEET. Last year our coaches and volunteers helped 1400 young people in 60 schools, delivering measurable results in terms of attitude and attainment.
Providing practical skills and experience in a way that also benefits local communities
Groundwork has particular expertise in growing the skills needed by employers. Our approach instils confidence, personal responsibility and a team ethic. We also enhance communication skills and embed literacy and numeracy skills in practical activities, creating the building blocks for providing good customer service.
We help young people access apprenticeships by providing preemployment support and teaching basic skills, and we manage a variety of supported work placements to instil the disciplines required in the workplace. Increasingly we are developing our own social enterprises as a route to helping people enter the labour market while stimulating local economies.
Groundwork in Action: Jasmine's story
Jasmine was referred to the Achievement Coaches programme because she was at risk of under-achieving and displayed a range of personal and social risk factors including under-age drinking. Despite being defensive and withdrawn at first,
Jasmine’s attitude to her Coach became much more positive as the weeks went by. Teachers report a significant change in attitude. Jasmine now has a career aspiration and understands how her behaviour and achievement in school can help her to achieve her goal.
Groundwork worked with Abraham Moss Community School in Manchester to help bring 44 disaffected year 11 pupils like Jasmine back into mainstream education and ensure they achieved improved qualifications. Coaches worked closely with school staff to tackle personal and social barriers to learning resulting in significant improvements in attendance and an increase in average attainment to five A*- C grades at GCSE with particular improvements in Maths and English.
Groundwork in Action: Improving lives, transforming places
In London, Groundwork has formed a consortium with Balfour Beatty and The Landscape Group to maintain Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and nearby venues for ten years, with up to 85% of the jobs being filled by long-term unemployed people from the Olympic host boroughs.
Groundwork also manages the REWORK workshops in Wandsworth and Greenford, which provide training and work placements while repairing and refurbishing electrical goods that would otherwise go to landfill, as well as ‘upcycling’ unwanted furniture into new products.
Making the transition to a low carbon economy is an increasingly urgent priority.Low carbon employment ranges from high-tech manufacturing to simple but vital roles such as increasingdomestic energy efficiency.
Groundwork has the skills and knowledge to help local areas achieve their low carbon ambitions. Environmental employment is at the heart of our mission, linking better life prospects with sustainable and thriving places.
We have a wealth of experience in developing and maintaining green infrastructure - the green spaces and waterways that underpin healthy ecosystems and make sure our towns and cities are sustainable and attractive for investment.
Green Teams - improving neighbourhoods and prospects
Our Green Teams enable unemployed people to carry out real and valuable environmental improvements in neighbourhoods, while learning new skills, gaining qualifications and enhancing employment prospects.
Green Teams are commissioned by local authorities, housing associations and other landowners to maintain open spaces but also, increasingly, to help local areas adapt to the impacts of climate change, reducing the risks of flood or storm damage by rethinking urban landscapes.
Green Doctor - keeping people safe and well through energy efficiency
Creating a low carbon economy and society means promoting greener behaviours. Our expert Green Doctors are working across the UK, offering advice and guidance on water, energy and resource efficiency at roadshows, community events and in the home, often to those who are most vulnerable and at risk of fuel poverty.
They help people to reduce their bills, maximise their income and provide practical support to ensure more people keep warm and stay well.
Keeping local businesses competitive
Helping businesses, in particular SMEs, reduce their costs by increasing their resource efficiency, has been a key element of our work for more than 25 years. We provide environmental consultancy and training, including carbon management, waste reduction and recycling, and sustainable procurement.
We also work with business communities to help them improve their surroundings through Business Improvement Districts and to benefit from a collaborative approach to logistics, security and purchasing.
Groundwork in Action - Antony's story
Antony is now employed as an apprentice on our 18 month Green Team programme where he's gaining practical horticulture and grounds maintenance experience. With Groundwork's support and these skills he's on his way to securing long term employment in this sector.
In London Groundwork Green Teams like Antony's are working with the landlords and residents of three housing estates to redesign green spaces to increase water retention capacity by 20,000 cubic metres, reducing the risk of flash flooding while increasing local biodiversity.
Groundwork in Action: Clare's story
Groundwork in Action: Faith Products
Faith Products produces skin and hair care products from natural sources that are healthy, not tested on animals and environmentally friendly. The support provided by Groundwork combined with their commitment to implementing efficiency savings led to savings of almost £20,000 in a single year.
This was achieved through a combination of improvements including better management of temperature controls and reducing electricity consumption. Switching to recycled plastic diverted 28 tonnes of plastic from landfill, while an investigation into leaner manufacturing resulted in over £12,000 of savings with a further £16,000 saved through production improvements.
"Working with Groundwork has been hugely rewarding in many ways.Groundwork is very competent technically, and provided many solutions to the problems we had. We enjoyed a great working relationship ... that furthered our aims of being a model company in the area of environmental initiatives." - Aaron Rose, Director, Faith Products
Most business leaders recognise that corporate responsibility is about more than minimising harmful impacts and means enabling their employees and encouraging their customers to become more active in creating flourishing local communities. Our strategic partnerships with business result in real, visible improvements to neighbourhoods and help companies develop the skills and competences of their people.
Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business, M&S
"What Groundwork offered us was a way of connecting with the community to work out what they actually needed,and that having invested the money up front there would be some sort of commitment and ownership in the community to protect and preserve our green space."
We have significant experience of working in partnership with utility companies to help educate people about water, waste and energy and work alongside construction and facilities management companies to provide opportunities for local people to access jobs and get more involved in the way assets are developed and maintained.
A history of strong partnerships
We work with a wide range of businesses to help them connect with their customers and provide opportunities for fundraising, team building and personal development among their employees.
We build national relationships that add value to local programmes, using the power of big brands and business resources to stimulate community action. This includes encouraging employees to volunteer on projects to improve and manage open spaces or to provide career inspiration alongside our Achievement Coaches in schools. Our business partners include M&S, Deutsche Bank, Skanska, PWC, Direct Line and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
Groundwork in Action: Cadbury Spots v Stripes
Groundwork was the delivery partner for the Cadbury Spots v Stripes Community Programme, designed to encourage participation in volunteering as part of the 2012 Olympic legacy. Long-term volunteers with the programme said it had improved essential skills required by employers, including communication and social skills and organisation and management.
Following the programme 51 volunteers went on to higher education and another 70 started other forms of training, with 80% saying this was influenced by their involvement in the scheme.
A social return on investment analysis of the scheme found that more than £13 million of social value was created, a return of more than £3 for every £1 invested.
Groundwork in Action: United Utilities
Groundwork’s long standing partnership with United Utilities continues to deliver results. Our United Futures partnership helps to mitigate the environmental impact of United Utilities’ capital works in the north west of England by delivering community projects that leave a lasting legacy. Over the past decade the programme has delivered nearly 200 projects that have improved or maintained over two million square metres of land.