Building a diverse talent pipeline and closing the green skills gap

From renewable energy to electric transport to inventing environmentally friendly products, the opportunities in the green sector are endless. However, if we truly want to tackle climate change then it’s vital that the next generation are inspired to enter the green workforce and develop the necessary skills to succeed.

But how can you turn your passion for the environment into a future career? And what pathways are available to young people who want to pursue a career in the green sector? We discussed both these questions in our recent  green career Youth #STEMSeries event on Friday 26 November.

We heard from inspiring speakers across the green sector – from consultants recruiting into the green industry, candidates using their STEM skills to lead the UK's low carbon transition to social entrepreneurs and Corporate Social Responsibility professionals helping to mobilise businesses to make the change the world needs to see.

Panellists:

Joanna Constandis, Environmental and Sustainability Manager at Michael J Lonsdale

Bianca Cave, Senior Consultant - Sustainable Finance at EY 

Rebekah Walker, Scrum Master at Scottish Power  

Poppy Newley-Bayliss, Environmental Science student at University of Nottingham and team leader of Ecologeco  

Facilitator:

Sarah Watkins, Customer Success Business Partner at SThree

Intro by Chris Parker, Partner at SThree


Encouraging students to save the planet by choosing a career in the green sector

We organised virtual work experience for more than forty young people across England aimed at inspiring them to turn their passion for the environment into a career.

Students from 37 schools and colleges attended the interactive green careers insight day where they heard from a panel of expert speakers who work in the green industry – including ScottishPower, Moray East Wind Farm and Bouygues Energies & Services.

The event, in partnership with charity Speakers for Schools, showed students the endless opportunities in the green sector, how they can pursue a green career and opened their eyes to what pathways are available to them.

The students, aged 16 to 19, also got involved in a range of research activities and presentations, and were awarded a certificate of completion.

Gemma Branney, Head of ESG for SThree said: “With the UK Government promising 250,000 more green jobs in the coming years, it’s vital we are doing our bit to help build a diverse talent pipeline and make sure we close the green skills gap.

“SThree has worked to bring skilled people together to develop the solutions that will help solve climate change. However, with governments setting net zero targets we know the green transition needs the next generation to develop green skills and enter the job market ready to make a difference. This is the only way we can truly tackle climate change.

“We’re committed to building a green future, but also an inclusive workforce. We want to inspire more young women to enter the green sector - that's why we were pleased that nearly three-quarters of the students that took part in this event were female.”

In total, 89% of those who took part said the experience had definitely inspired them to consider a green career.


Melanie Hill, ScottishPower’s Director for Social Projects and Sector Education, said: “It’s really exciting to showcase the career opportunities available to young people that will help tackle climate change and achieve Net Zero.  

“ScottishPower is the UK’s only fully integrated green energy company, which means we own, operate and invest in all the infrastructure that takes green energy, quite literally, from the wind turbine to your TV. This means we need lots of different people working in lots of different roles and our colleagues who took part in this event are terrific examples of the variety of green jobs that are out there.

“I’ve no doubt they provided a lot of insight and inspiration for the students, who will be our workforce for a cleaner, greener and better future.”



Bonahis Oko, Sustainability, Carbon and Environmental Lead at Bouygues Energies & Services, was one of the speakers at the event. She said: “We are witnessing an ever-increasing demand for sustainable practices within industries, from consumers, green pressure groups, legislators, governments and the international community. These demands increasingly result in more stringent regulations, to which more industries must adapt. Furthermore, people are looking to engage with companies, that are good stewards of nature and investors are becoming increasingly hesitant to invest in organisations that are not ethical. If companies don’t also act, they are failing to future proof and risk businesses obsolescence.

“To address the challenge that is climate change we need to close the green skills gap by encouraging the next generation into green careers.”


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