Thousands of new green jobs need to be created to meet the UK’s climate targets. Groundwork is supporting people from all backgrounds into green jobs.
Emily recently joined Groundwork through the Kickstart scheme as a Development and Research Assistant. She works as part of our Communities Team to deliver Environmental projects and our Employment and Skills team, helping people get into jobs and training.
Read Emily’s story:
No experience = No Job
Before joining Groundwork as part of the Kickstart scheme, I’d spent most of the previous year applying unsuccessfully for work. I graduated from University of Manchester in 2020 with a BA Hons in English Literature. Finishing university and entering the unknown world of full-time work can be daunting at the best of times. Doing this during a global pandemic added a whole host of extra challenges.
Frustrated and uncertain
With Coronavirus causing uncertainty for businesses, job and training opportunities were really scarce. So I became one of the 29.8% of people my age who applied for Universal Credit in 2020. My work coach was very helpful but many of the roles available required previous experience. With many organisations furloughing staff or switching to online-only delivery, gaining any experience seemed virtually impossible. By this point, I was beginning to feel extremely frustrated and uncertain about my future prospects.
Applying for Kickstart
I heard about Kickstart through my work coach at Wigan Job Centre. We had bi-weekly meetings to see how I was progressing with my job search and after several weeks of me being unsuccessful in applying for jobs online, I was introduced to this new government scheme. It seemed like a great way to be able to gain valuable working experience, whilst also being introduced to a real working environment, so I decided to apply.
I was made to feel very comfortable during the interview process, so I could already see that Groundwork would be a welcoming and friendly place to work.
The application process was like any other job; I filled in an application form and provided my details, and was later contacted for interview. The communication in setting up the interview was great and I felt really at ease once the interview came around. It was all done over Microsoft Teams due to the restrictions at the time, but I never felt disadvantaged because of this. I was made to feel very comfortable during the interview process, so I could already see that Groundwork would be a welcoming and friendly place to work.
“You’ve got the job.”
When I found out I’d got the job I felt really excited at the prospect of starting a new challenge and working at Groundwork. At the same time, I also felt quite surprised as I had never done a real job interview prior to this, and so I was uncertain of how I well I had come across. The fact that I had been successful gave me a new-found confidence in my skills.
My new role
My role at Groundwork is a Development and Research Assistant, for both the Communities and Employment and Skills teams. I like that I am able to branch out into two different areas of the charity. It gives me the chance to work alongside a host of different colleagues and ensures that there is always some variety in my working day. My line manager, Suzanne, has been really helpful. She made sure I had a thorough induction and introduced me to the people I was going to working alongside in the future. This helped me to easily settle in to my role and quickly feel like a member of the team. The work that I’ve been given has enabled me to gain knowledge about current projects being run at Groundwork, and I have also been given the resources to work independently alongside this. Overall, it is a really fulfilling and enjoyable working experience.
Thinking about the future
My ideal future career would be one that involves writing and research and hopefully the skills I’ll gain at Groundwork will help me to achieve this. The great thing about Groundwork is that they’ve said that they will offer me extra experience or training in anything that I express an interest in within the charity.
I think that green jobs are an important catalyst for a greener, more sustainable society.
The importance of green jobs
I think that Green jobs are an important catalyst for a greener, more sustainable society. The environment is something that affects us all and has an impact on many different aspects of daily life. It is really important for people to be educated on the benefits and opportunities of sustainability. Groundwork, in particular, is a key provider in ensuring a greener, non-discriminatory society for all. As an organisation, they are an outstanding example of the importance of green jobs.
You’ll gain valuable experience that will only serve to help you in the future.
Taking the first step
I would advise any other young people considering taking part in the Kickstart to take the chance and go into it with an open mind. You’ll gain valuable experience that will only serve to help you in the future.
Community Climate Action