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Young appentices

Young apprentices have been working to clean up part of Gravesend while learning new skills

Posted on 24 June 2013

Young apprentices were praised by the leader of Gravesham council for their work in a pilot project.

The group, Team Green, started in April as part of a 12-month apprenticeship scheme in a partnership between the charity Groundwork and Gravesham council.

During the first six weeks of their apprenticeship the group have helped maintain and improve the Gordon Gardens while learning new skills which will work towards each person gaining an NVQ level two.

One of the major projects they completed is to build new fishing bays, re-set the disabled fishing bays and clear-up the lakes in Gordon Gardens and the dell area.

Matthew Martin, 18, from Gravesend said: “It’s a massive life changing experience, I never thought I would do something like this but now I’d like a career in horticulture.”

While Tom Bracey, 19, from Northfeet said: “Groundwork has put me on the straight and narrow; this is a great way to get motivated. I didn’t like the idea of an apprenticeship but this has proved me wrong. It’s a very positive experience.”

The apprentices are supervised by Groundwork staff and work 25 hours a week on site and one day a week of theory and technical learning including bricklaying and plastering.

Groundwork’s executive director Gary Jacobs said: “Here in Gravesend we have seen a group of bright young people go from strength to strength, learning and mastering new skills and generally growing in confdence.

“Apprenticeships are more and more important in helping people start their careers in the current climate and working with Gravesham Borough Council on this programme has proven to be a fulflling relationship.

“Working on projects that directly benefit the community and enhance the environment while training people is at the very heart of what we do.”

The apprentices will now go on to work with other departments with the council each with an aim to have a positive environmental impact.

As part of the apprenticeship the group will be given pastoral support, interview and CV support and training and job search training.