The National Lottery Heritage Fund is partnering with Groundwork UK to help young people find paid work placements in the landscape and natural heritage sector

Groundwork Cheshire, Lancashire & Merseyside Young Apprentices. Credit: Mark Waugh

Applications are now open for the New to Nature programme – a new initiative from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to help people aged 18-25 find paid work placements in landscape and natural heritage organisations across the UK.

Groundwork UK, in partnership with The Prince’s Trust, Disability Rights UK, Mission Diverse, and Youth Environmental Service, is delivering the programme. Through opening natural heritage to young people from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds who might not have considered a career in nature, the programme aims to improve diversity and inclusion in the sector and create a natural legacy to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Offering paid placements to young people can be a hugely effective way of widening access to opportunities and providing a stepping stone into permanent roles

‘Many young people don’t see the sector as their first-choice career option, either because the roles needed are not visible to them or they feel excluded,’ said Graham Duxbury, Chief Executive of Groundwork UK. ‘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, said that New to Nature would 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,’ he said.

Around 70 full- and part-time placements are available through the programme, which will run until May 2024. The ultimate aim of New to Nature is to build ‘a UK-wide network of jubilee trainees to champion greater diversity and youth voice within the sector, encouraging longer-term change’.

Find out more at groundwork.org.uk.

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