Headlines: July 31st, 2009

The environmental regeneration charity Groundwork and the National Housing Federation are joining forces to create hundreds of green jobs to improve neighbourhoods in England and Wales. The two organisations have been awarded 15 million pounds from the Future Jobs Fund and said it would create around 2,000 new jobs.

The jobs will include energy efficiency advisers, neighbourhood caretakers, land management workers, gardeners and recycling workers. The money will also be used to create green social enterprises. These will work with landowners such as British Waterways, Sustrans and the Countryside Council for Wales to improve public open spaces, develop cycle routes and prepare for future climate change.

The organisations said the first jobs would begin in October with around 90 organisations, including Groundwork Trusts and housing associations beginning to draw up their recruitment plans. The people who are employed will carry out work that benefits their own neighbourhood or local area where this is practical.

Groundwork says its research has shown there is a clear correlation between places with rising unemployment and those where there are big environmental challenges such as poor air quality and high levels of fuel poverty. Tony Hawkhead, the Chief Executive of Groundwork, said: “Investing in these jobs will leave a lasting legacy of both places that are greener and better able to combat and adapt to climate change and people that have acquired valuable new skills that will benefit the UK for decades to come.”