Future Jobs Fund
The Future Jobs Fund is a government run scheme to provide employment for 18-25 year olds that have been unemployed for 6 months. Groundwork aims to give long term Job Seekers Allowance Claimants an opportunity to work by employing them as part of the Future Jobs Fund and providing them with the necessary skills to go into the workplace.
We developed this model because we recognised that there is a yearning in local people for a better way of life and a sense of connection to where they live. Greencare provides a project a project delivery structure to address design and planning issues, ensure funding can be secured and works are undertaken to necessary quality and enviornmental standards.
Groundwork Future Jobs Fund Programme run from October 2009 and has seen 192 posts created across Merthyr, R.C.T, Blaenau Gwent, Cardiff and Powys.
100% target hit of 192 posts employed over the 18 months programme
Total secondments to outside organisations- 99
Total into employment- 34
Total into full time posts- 20
Went into furthur education- 2
During our evaluation these figures show the success rate we have had:-
Scale of confidence changed- 89%
Team working skills- 69%
Health Improved- 69%
Satisfaction rate- 93%
Name: Ben Way
Employment Dates: 22/2/11 – 22/8/11
How I Became An Employee At Groundwork Merthyr & RCT
The criteria for taking part in the government’s ‘Future Jobs Fund’ scheme are that the candidate is between 18 and 25 years of age and has been on Jobseeker’s Allowance for six months. The scheme provides young people with a six-month fixed-term contract after which the organisation by which they have been employed have the opportunity to offer them a further employment.
After completing a six-month period of claiming benefit, therefore qualifying for the scheme I applied for the role of ‘Woodskills Assistant’ at Groundwork Merthyr & RCT through the Jobcentre Plus and attended a successful interview on 16/2/11. I started the following Tuesday as a Horticultural Assistant with Lewis Phillips, Horticultural Project Skills Officer at the Horticultural Learning Zone. I was determined to make the most of my time at Groundwork Merthyr & RCT and was keen to play a part in the activities of the Horticultural Learning Zone team.
What I Did As An Employee At Groundwork Merthyr & RCT
I was involved in a range of on-site activities which helped me develop new skills and abilities.
Horticultural Learning Zone
I was involved in all areas of horticulture and developed skills in:
· Constructing and maintaining raised beds for production horticulture and flower beds for amenity horticulture.
· Planting and maintaining hanging baskets and window boxes.
· Bedding plants and seasonal planting.
· Crop rotation and using plants for soil improvement.
· Plant classification and tree identification.
· Native plants and particularly important or rare plants.
· Weeds and invasive or problematic plants.
· Environmental awareness and constructing recycling bins.
· Working as part of a group with different clients of Groundwork Merthyr & RCT as well as employees of the Trust. This was shown when I supervised a group of clients and fellow employees in the absence of the Project Officer.
· The requirements of plants, seed & bulb planting, taking & cultivating cuttings, pests, diseases & weeds and the safe use of tools as outlined in the OCN Level 1 Qualification in Practical Gardening that I achieved.
‘Greendayz’ Open Day at Fedw Hir
I was involved with the activities at the Horticultural Learning Zone as part of the ‘Greendayz’ Open Day at Fedw Hir. I helped with:
· Planting ‘edible’ hanging baskets with members of the public containing tomato, pepper, chives, courgette and peas.
· Engaging with members of the public and answering any questions or queries they had.
I was also involved in a range of off-site activities and projects in community gardens, schools, nursing homes and parks.
Ferndale Community Garden
- Helping transport top soil into raised beds, including some designed specifically for visually impaired people.
- Helping plant marginal plants around a small pond.
Cefnpennar Community Garden
- General clearance work of overgrown shrubs and vegetation.
- Weed eradication.
- Litter collection and path cleaning.
Ysguborwen Nursing Home
- Brush clearance and shrub and small tree removal.
- Hanging baskets and concrete planters.
- Wooden planters preparation and delivery.
Merthyr Farmers Market
- Selling produce to members of the public in Merthyr Tydfil.
- Advertising Groundwork Merthyr & RCT and the services it offers.
Parc Taf Bargoed
· Preparing plants after delivery to Fedw Hir and assorting them ready for transport to planting area.
· Planting native plants to boost naturalisation of reclaimed mining ground.
· Planting marginal plants around lake side, following detailed planting plan.
· Engaging with the public about Groundwork Merthyr & RCT and its services.
St. John’s School Gardening Club
· Working with children aged 11-18 years at a local school gardening club.
· Planting assorted vegetables and flowers and led activities in weeding and litter collection.
· Leading construction of a wooden composting bin.
Aberdare Country Park Activity Day
· Selling produce to public alongside other members of Groundwork Merthyr & RCT staff.
· Advertising Groundwork Merthyr & RCT and the Trust’s services.
Llwydcoed Primary School
· Painting bridge and surrounding fence.
· Excavating mud from the bottom of the pond.
· Removing unwanted marginal plants from around the pond and planted more desirable marginal plants to replace these.
· Delivering and set up a log circle in the wildlife garden.
· Painting lanes for a Sports Day with line paint on the grass of the school field.
Cyfarthfa Community Garden
· Helping turn soil over and weed areas due to become community garden.