From education to employment

70 placements for young people across nature organisations announced as part of Jubilee legacy

Teacher in front of whiteboard with students

New to Nature – a new natural legacy to mark the Queen’s Jubilee year

The National Lottery Heritage Fund announces a £2million investment 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 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.  

Staff from minority ethnic backgrounds make up just 3.1% of the environment sector’s workforce* and the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on young people’s employment prospects has further widened existing skills gaps and shortages in the UK.

New to Nature, delivered by Groundwork UK in partnership with The Prince’s Trust, Disability Rights UK, Mission Diverse and Youth Environmental Service,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. Last month the Heritage Fund announced Nextdoor Nature, a £5 million programme to create a huge matrix of community-led rewilding projects delivered by The Wildlife Trusts, which willimprove the lives of people from some of the most disadvantaged areas across the UK.

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.”

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.”  

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.”

Related Articles