Duration: Until March 2024


Green Start is a learning and employability programme aimed at helping offenders thrive in the ‘green skills’ job market.

Our vision for Greater Manchester recognises the need for greener growth across the city region, however to complete the transition to a green economy will require sustainability to be embedded in traditional industries such as construction, utilities, agriculture and waste management.

What we’re doing

Green Start is a new green construction skills training programme that Groundwork Greater Manchester is running in HMP Forest Bank. Prison residents will be able to develop skills, knowledge and qualifications to help them thrive in the green skills and construction job market, and will be supported through the gate to secure and sustain employment following release from custody.

This project has been developed with a number of construction sector employers, using funding from The City & Guilds Foundation. This programme will be co-designed with employers from the construction and land sector to ensure the content of the programme prepares participants for real job opportunities.

People will be enrolled on a 6-week workshop-based training programme involving:

  • Practical construction skills relevant to property retrofit
  • Carbon Literacy Certificate for the Construction Sector
  • L1 Health & Safety in the Construction Environment
  • CSCS test training and practise linked to securing 5 year CSCS card (test booked on release)
  • Introduction to property retrofit and modern construction methods
  • Development of skills to secure and succeed in work in the construction sector
  • Hearing from different guest speakers from the construction industry to develop awareness of employer expectations, jobs and career pathways

Course graduates will receive individually tailored 121 support, both prior to and following release from custody, aimed at supporting them to secure and sustain employment with one of the employers in our network. We aim to maintain contact with each person for 12 months following release from custody, working closely with Probation staff, to maximise support and reduce the likelihood of re-offending.

“If we are going to meet Greater Manchester’s target of being carbon neutral by 2038, changes in what we do and how we do things will need to change rapidly across all sectors –including within the construction and land-based industries. I would like to see local prisons becoming a hub for green skills training, enabling prisoners to be prepared for emerging job opportunities within the low carbon economy with an accompanying reduction in re-offending rates.”

Find out more

For more information on this project contact Venetia Knight, Head of Employment & Enterprise via email at Venetia.Knight@groundwork.org.uk

Funders & Partners

This project was made possible thanks to City & Guilds Foundation.