This below is a few clippings from a very long press release put out by the Department of Communities and Local Government just now…
A £1 million fund to recruit a new generation of green-fingered apprentices to keep England’s parks and green spaces growing, is being announced today by Housing Minister Margaret Beckett
Local councils will invite budding horticulturalists of all ages to apply for a traineeship scheme that will offer them the opportunity to improve their green skills and make sure our towns’ and cities’ green spaces stay green.
In the North West councils in Blackburn… Liverpool, Manchester, Oldham, Pendle, Preston, Rochdale, Salford, St Helens, Tameside and Wigan will be looking for people who can prove their gardening prowess…
Margaret Beckett will announce the new funding in a speech to leading experts in the green space sector as well as planners, developers and health officials at the ParkCity conference in London.
Mrs Beckett will say:
“These new apprentices will be green ambassadors in their communities, taking responsibility for our parks and open spaces and making sure they are of the highest quality for everyone to enjoy.
“Green spaces and green infrastructure should not be an added luxury. If we really are to tackle climate change, protect both our environment and our health, green spaces need to be at the heart of our communities.
“We will work closely with planners, developers and experts in the green sector to ensure we have the skills and resources we need to make this happen.”
With the public health, environmental and social benefits of green spaces widely known, the new funding comes as part of the Government’s drive for more top quality green spaces through programmes such as the Green Flag Scheme, as well as putting the green agenda at the centre of planning policy and housing growth.
The apprenticeships are open to people of all ages and the 47 Local Authorities will be managing recruitment to each of their posts.