The New Leaf project has been created with the support of the Forestry Commission in the Forest of Dean and is at the very heart of what we are aiming to achieve at Arbour Training. It is a programme created to provide training and support into employment, for young people and adults who are not in employment or training (NEET).
Our course will provide learners with an introduction to woodland management, traditional craft skills, and green woodworking. Although all are welcome to participate our long-term aim is to help unemployed local people to develop skills that can lead to purposeful and fulfilling employment.
All our trainers are professionally qualified and passionate about passing on their knowledge and skills. Although all are welcome to participate our long-term aim is to help unemployed local people to develop skills that can lead to purposeful and fulfilling employment.
Old skills for new jobs
Research shows that over 169,000 people are employed in Heritage Craft businesses, using traditional hand skills to provide products and services in response to growing consumer demand. It is anticipated that this sector is set to see a 12% growth in employment in the period leading up to 2022.
This highlights the positive economic impact of traditional woodland management techniques and related craft skills. Acquiring Traditional craft skills can help those who are, unemployed, or those looking to change their lives by developing old skills for new jobs.
Our New Leaf project supports the ‘vision’ outlined in the Forestry Commissions Community Engagement Framework (2017), as follows:
“We want to facilitate community involvement, expanding opportunities for communities to work with us, including the most vulnerable and hard to reach groups and individuals in our communities, to aid in the management of their local woodland resource.”
The New Leaf project will work with referring agencies as identified under the Building Better Opportunities Fund – Going the Extra Mile (BBOF-GEM) our objective will be to provide training and support into employment, for young people and adults who are not in employment or training (NEET).
Those who are unemployed, that complete the New Leaf training programme, will be offered the opportunity to continue as registered New Leaf volunteers. New Leaf volunteers will be able to continue to work alongside experienced staff to support delivery of woodland management and related craft activities. This experience will support their development towards employment and make them eligible for additional training and deployment to service specific short-term contracts and funded woodland projects, which will offer them work experience and sustain the project for future participants.