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Jamie Lawrence


Insights Director

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News: young people want green skills to get green jobs


More than half (59 percent) of the UK’s young people (19-25) say they would be interested in working in the green economy, yet 38 percent say they don’t have the skills required to do so.

This is according to new research released recently by British Gas, which also found a quarter of young people (26 percent) don’t feel the training and job opportunities currently available sufficiently develop skills that can be used in a career.

It also revealed that young people see the green economy as a route into secure, long-term employment. Over three-quarters (78 percent) say they recognise the importance of the green economy to UK growth over the next decade.

When questioned over what would help them to gain employment in the green economy, 38 percent said they wanted companies to offer apprenticeships. Half (50 percent) pointed to more work experience and internships, while 21 percent wanted school career advisors to give students more information on green jobs and training opportunities

The green economy is expected to drive UK economic growth and covers a wide remit including renewable energy, water conservation, waste recycling and energy efficiency. The Green Deal, a way for homeowners to make energy improvements to their home without paying the full amount upfront, is expected to create 250,000 green jobs by 2030.

Young people clearly see the growth opportunities in the green economy and also its expansion potential over the next 20 years – they want to work in these exciting areas but feel under skilled to do so. If HR want to create a talent pipeline for the future, they must start thinking now about what role they will play in training young people and bringing them into the workplace.

This research also points to a wider trend – young people increasingly look for jobs that provide some level of return to the local community and the environment. While the green economy’s remit currently covers quite specific areas, in the future it will expand to include companies that prioritise community growth and eco-friendly outcomes. If businesses want to be at the forefront of youngster’s wish-lists in the future, they must consider in what ways their business can become more sustainable.

Rt Hon Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said: “The Government is absolutely committed to creating opportunities for the private sector to invest in the green skills and job opportunities that young people are looking for. The Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation will generate new jobs at a national and local level, and will help the green economy to continue growing. British Gas’ Academy in Thatcham is a fantastic example of this in action – it’s creating opportunities for young people to develop skills and experience that will set them up for life.”

Chris Jansen, Managing Director of British Gas Services, said: “At British Gas, we have a long and proud history of equipping young people with the skills they need to meet the UK’s energy needs. Since 2003, our Academies have trained over 5,000 apprentices. We can do more in the future as the Green economy will create long-term jobs and growth over the next twenty years. Today’s research shows that young people welcome this support and want to be a part of the growing green economy.”

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Jamie Lawrence

Insights Director

Read more from Jamie Lawrence

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