Roots of Success

Web BadgeAn empowering environmental awareness and green job- readiness training programme for young people and adults.

Roots of Success is a 10 module curriculum aimed at raising awareness of both local and global environmental issues whilst raising literacy, numeracy, IT, communication and many other skills needed for entry into the job market.  It is interactive and dynamic, engaging participants through videos, discussions, research, group presentations and problems solving activities.  It provides participants with a solid, multidisciplinary understanding of environmental literacy.

The curriculum can be used either as a stand-alone training programme for certification in environmental literacy or integrated into an existing training course, such as a construction or horticulture course.  There is an introductory ‘fundamentals’ module which can be taught alone or with any one or more of the following modules depending on the participants:

  • Fundamentals of Environmental Literacy (Introduction)
  • Water
  • Waste
  • Transportation
  • Energy
  • Building
  • Health, Food & Agriculture
  • Community Organising for Equitable Development and Green Jobs
  • Financial Literacy and Social Entrepreneurship (in development)
  • Application & Practice (Conclusion)

We taught three of the modules to trainee bike mechanics at Bikeworks as part of their cycle into work programme, and received great feedback, one participant saying “I definitely want to have a green job!! I knew that already, but this class opened my eyes” and another said he wanted to “look into how [he] can incorporate eco friendly ideas into [his business] plan”.

Teaching Roots of Success at Bikeworks.

Teaching Roots of Success at Bikeworks.

We led great sessions with inmates at Wormwood Scrubs prison, one class participant telling us “That the green economy is an option when it comes to looking for work and options for the future”, another said they learnt that “however small, if you can change some things in your day to day life to help the environment, it all adds up, especially if you can pass on its importance to others.” 

Each module includes detailed case studies on ‘green jobs’ in the sector, from entry requirements to career pathways with a focus on employability skill exercises throughout.  Modules take approximately 6 hours to teach depending on group participants and is delivered by a certified Roots of Success Instructor.

A Princes Trust team programme participant with their Roots of Success certificate.

A Princes Trust team programme participant with their Roots of Success certificate.

Roots of Success is successfully used in almost 200 green jobs training programmes in America and in a whole host of colleges, prisons and community organisations.   Otesha has developed the UK version and piloted it with young people at The Princes-Trust, trainee mechanics at Bikeworks, with inmates at Wormwood Scrubs prison, at Crisis Skylight and will soon be delivering the training at Trees for Cities, Hackney City Farm and to trainee construction workers.

For more information about Roots of Success see

If you are interested in having Roots of Success delivered at your organisation or with your group please contact  / 020 3609 6763

Modules Overview

1. Fundamentals of Environmental Literacy

This module is compulsory and can be taught by itself or with all/ any other modules.   It gives an overview of key issues / environmental concerns in participants community and how our actions effect the planet.  There is information on what a green jobs is, apprenticeships and career pathways.

2. Water

Looks at water use as a resource and sustainable water solutions.  Employability skills covered: Identifying personal and work strengths and weaknesses, ideal jobs- looking at descriptions.

3. Waste

Looking at the concept of waste, waste management locally, nationally and globally and sustainable solutions.  Employability skills:  Job researching, understanding career pathways.

4. Transport

Looks at land use planning, public and private transport and the problems around dependence on oil, sustainable transport solutions.  Employability skills:  CV writing, matching skills to job descriptions (this happens in every module to an extent as each module includes details of ‘green jobs’ in that sector).

5. Energy

Looks at the concept of energy, renewable and non-renewable sources of energy used nationally and globally, how these effect different communities, energy saving solutions, home energy audits and sales pitching.  Employability skills: Cover letter writing.

6. Building

Looks at the built environment, greening new and existing builds, green building design, environmental issues associated with construction, local housing issues and solutions – overcrowding and community land trusts.  Employability skills: Mock interviews.

7. Health, Food and Agriculture

Looks at relationships between these three on a local and global scale, problems and solutions associated with different food systems locally, nationally and globally, nutrition, food deserts, urban agriculture.  Employability: Case studies on very different jobs (and career pathways) in the food sector- from horticultural worker to cooperative bakery employee, from youth worker to salesperson.

8. Community Organising and Leadership

Looks at the idea of ‘community’ and marginalised peoples, empowerment, social justice, practical tools for community organising, facilitation skills, evaluating.  Employability skills: Evaluating your work, team work.

9. Application and Practice

To be completed only if all other modules covered.  This is a conclusion module which puts into practice skills learnt throughout the course by designing a green city area.  Employability skills: Identifying the sector you want to work in, job searching, final mock interview.