Young adults revitalise cycle paths and career paths

Young adults across England are back in work thanks to a scheme to revitalise the National Cycle Network.

Sustrans, the UK ’s leading sustainable transport charity, is working with the Future Jobs Fund to enable unemployed young people to enhance routes for walkers and cyclists.

Trainees will get the opportunity to train to use diggers and other machinery to renovate ageing paths, and create new sections of the charity’s flagship project.

The 182 trainees, aged 18 to 24, have all been unemployed for at least six months, and have been taken on for a six-month period.

Teams are located in Bideford, Barnstaple, Taunton , Bath , Swindon, Chester, Liverpool, Manchester , Whitehaven, Lincoln , Rotherham, Leeds and Consett.

Dad of one Paul Nelson, aged 24, from Halton Moor, Leeds , said: “I’d been out of work for a year and training isn’t available so it’s been really hard trying to support my young boy. But now I can get some qualifications behind me and look towards getting a gardening or landscaping job.

“We’ve met some genuinely friendly people walking and cycling along the paths, so it’ll be really satisfying to improve the area for them.”

Thomas Last, aged 18, from Middleton, Leeds , already has a job lined up providing he can train to use dumpers and mini diggers.

He said: ”I’ve only found casual work since I left school but this experience will give me the tickets I need.

“It makes you feel better to look at the work you’ve done and think ‘somebody can enjoy this’, whether they’re cycling up and down or walking their dog.”

The Department for Transport will invest £1.5 million with match-funding from Sustrans, which has secured some other funding from local authorities.

Simon Talbot-Ponsonby, Sustrans Future Jobs Fund Manager, said: “It’s moving how enthusiastic all the trainees are about having a real job. Some were really emotional when they were taken on, and the hardest thing we have had to do was turn away so many other good people who also needed a chance to get back into work.”

Sustrans is the UK ’s leading sustainable transport charity. Its vision is a world in which people choose to travel in ways that benefit their health and the environment. It is achieving this through innovative but practical solutions to the UK ’s transport challenges.

Source: Sustans