NEWS: Groundwork launches new youth employment programme to support 70 young people into environmental jobs

Groundwork has launched a new £2million programme to create 70 paid placements for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in the natural heritage sector, to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year.

New to Nature – funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund – will see young people aged 18-25 given new, full-time, temporary jobs in nature and landscape organisations across the UK, increasing diversity and representation.

The programme is being delivered by Groundwork UK in partnership with The Prince’s Trust, Disability Rights UK, Mission Diverse and Youth Environmental Service and will target those who may not have considered a career in natural heritage and may need extra support to find work.

The programme, which will run until May 2024, will provide high quality and potentially life-changing experiences for marginalised young people struggling to enter the labour market, at the same time supporting the landscape and nature sector to be more inclusive and diverse. It will also build a UK-wide network of Jubilee Trainees to champion greater diversity and youth voice within the sector, encouraging longer-term change.

The funding is the second tranche of a £7m investment in nature by the Heritage Fund, as part of The National Lottery’s £22million investment to mark the Jubilee.

Graham Duxbury, Chief Executive of Groundwork UK, says: “Delivering our ambitions for nature recovery and net zero will mean investing in new skills and capacity in the environmental sector.  However, many young people don’t see the sector as their first-choice career option, either because the jobs needed are not visible to them or they feel excluded.  We’re proud to be working in partnership with the National Lottery Heritage Fund and our other partners on New to Nature, as we know that offering supported paid placements to young people can be a hugely effective way of widening access to opportunities and providing a stepping stone into permanent roles.”

Simon Thurley, Chair of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, says: As part of The National Lottery family’s £22m investment to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the Heritage Fund are delighted to launch New to Nature, which will be truly transformative for many young people as well as the organisations they work for. We are pleased to be working in partnership with Groundwork UK and The Prince’s Trust, who are skilled at reaching out to young people, to ensure that this project will leave a strong and lasting natural legacy and change the natural heritage sector for the better.”

Ben Marson, Director of Partnerships from The Prince’s Trust, says: “We’re thrilled to be supporting the important mission of getting more young people into green careers. The environmental sector can seem out of reach to some young people, so we look forward to working in partnership with Groundwork UK to break down barriers and give disadvantaged young people the confidence and skills they need to succeed. Supporting young people from different backgrounds into green job placements will not only give them invaluable work experience but will also positively impact the environmental sector itself for years to come.”

Billy Knowles, Director at the Youth Environmental Service, says:  “We are absolutely delighted to be supporting New to Nature. It’s a fantastic opportunity not only to create real positive change to the lives of young people and the organisations they join, but also a step towards transforming the environmental sector, creating new routes into environmentally-friendly careers for every young person and helping secure the sector’s long-term sustainability.”

Get involved

Groundwork is currently looking for employers to be a part of this programme. Please visit the website to find out more:

For more information and follow up queries, please email

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund 

Using money raised by the National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.

As part of the National Lottery’s £22million investment to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, The National Lottery Heritage Fund is investing £7m to create a lasting legacy for communities and nature across the UK. The funding will empower disadvantaged communities to take action for nature on their doorsteps and enable 70 young people to undertake paid placements in the nature heritage sector.

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund #PlatinumJubile

Groundwork, National Heritage Lottery, Queen's Jubilee, Mission Diverse, Disability Rights UK, Prince's Trust and Youth Environmental Service logos