“Even if it doesn’t go to plan, I still gained that experience” ~India
After finishing 6th form, 20-year-old India unfortunately found herself unemployed. Being in the peak of the pandemic and with no work experience behind her India, like many other young people, found it extremely difficult to start her career.
Thanks to job support provided to India as a Universal Credit recipient, India found out about Groundwork’s Kickstart programme. The programme provides work placement opportunities to young people who want to start a career in the environmental sector.
Interested in working outdoors, India took part in a 2-week pre-recruitment course organised by Groundwork to establish her interests further. She was happy that even if she wasn’t to get accepted into the role, she would gain new qualifications in H&S and Carbon Literacy through this course.
After completing the course, India applied for a role as a Ranger. In her interview she stood out as determined, enthusiastic and a perfect fit for the role and was accepted alongside 2 other Rangers.
Over the next 6 months India would undertake a range of activities at several different nature sites as part of the Natural Neighbourhoods programme, including:
- Creation of a new boardwalk at Boarshaw Clough, Middleton to improve access to nature for local people – using basic hand tools, such as hammers, crowbars and screwdrivers.
- Construction of rolled stone pathway including use of power tools such as a whacker plate
- Following completion of a LANTRA accredited safe use of strimmers and brushcutter course, India was able to complete tasks safely to strim back pathways and clear vegetation at different nature sites. India also completed L1 Health and Safety in Construction Environment course and passed her CSCS card test.
Ranger Supervisor, James Wynn supported India in her role, providing training with a range of tools and equipment from a simple wrench to a drop saw and other similar equipment.
“India has had a positive increase in both confidence and independence from when she first started. She is now happy to take a task at hand and complete it independently, I’m proud of how far she’s come.”
Now, nearing the end of her Kickstart placement, India states that the programme has helped her with her confidence and understanding the world of work. It has confirmed her passion for the environment and as such, she has decided to study Ecology and Conservation at university. India hopes that her degree will lead to a role as either an Ecologist or Ecological Surveyor.
When asked her thoughts on whether other young people should take part in the Kickstart programme, she commented,
“Just apply for Kickstart, in the long term it gives you plenty of skills that are easily transferable.”