Our 2023 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.

Green Start is a learning and employability programme, made possible thanks to funding from the City & Guilds Foundation, aimed at helping offenders thrive in the ‘green skills’ job market, following their release from custody.

Working in resettlement prisons, including HMP Forest Bank, we will deliver a mix of practical, outdoor, group learning and classroom based activities over a 9-week training period, focusing on:

  • Construction and land management skills
  • Carbon literacy and green skills
  • Work skills

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.

Our Employment Advisers will work with course graduates prior to release from custody to get them ready to access job opportunities following their release from custody. They will continue to support them through the gate and after they gain employment, 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.

If you are a Greater Manchester business interested in supporting a revolution in green skills development please get in touch with Venetia Knight, Head of Employment & Enterprise.