AN environmental project is acting as a stepping stone to employment for young people.

Over the past two years One Planet Pioneers has engaged with more than 1,000 young people in Middlesbrough through apprenticeships, work experience, career workshops and volunteering.

One Planet Pioneers, funded by the Big Lottery Fund through the Our Bright Future programme, is a collaboration between Middlesbrough Environment City, Actes Trust and Tees Valley Wildlife Trust, which aims to develop the skills of young people through environmental projects.

The project currently works with 11 apprentices who are employed by project partners, the largest number to be engaged with the project at any one time.

One Planet Pioneers is designed to equip young people with a range of skills that can be taken to prospective employers.

Project apprentices and volunteers take part in a diverse range of activities using the One Planet Living approach, including managing green spaces in and around Middlesbrough, learning how to fell trees, coppicing, planting, footpath work and wildflower grassland management.

They also assist with outdoor education for local school groups and at community events.

James Stubbs, 21, who undertook an apprenticeship with Middlesbrough Environment City, said: “The opportunity to gain new skill and work experience during the apprenticeship was amazing, it has given me invaluable skill that I now use in my everyday work.”

For more details on One Planet Pioneer activities call 01642 579839 or 579832.