Thursday, 17 February 2011

News - Unique six-month work experience initiative for unemployed (Beckingham)

EIGHT young Bassetlaw men have swapped the dole queue for a six-month opportunity to learn new skills on a rural restoration project.

They are getting to grips with building work, painting and decorating as part of the renovation of the Beckingham Willow Works.

And the unique work experience initiative is being co-ordinated as one of the final schemes run by the Government's Future Jobs Fund programme – which ends on March 31.

The jobless 19 to 24-year-olds have each been unemployed for at least six months.

They are involved in the restoration of the century-old building, which is being trans- formed into a community heritage centre.
Turning back the clock at Beckingham Willow Works is a major part of the Trent Vale Landscape Partnership programme launched a year ago.

It is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Star Energy, Nottingham shire County Council and the Environment Agency.

The building will also host an exhibition about the former willow industry and create office space, meeting rooms and function rooms with full welfare facilities.

And the workforce is being provided by contractors Crestra Ltd through Groundwork Creswell, Ashfield and Mansfield – which has taken ownership of the building on behalf of the community.
Trent Vale Landscape Partnership secured £1.6 million funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund in January last year, for a three-year period to conserve, enhance and celebrate the cultural identity of the Trent Vale between Newark and Gainsborough.

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