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 COP26 around the corner and 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: “In the run-up to the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow later this year, 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: “Today, the effects of climate change are seen in the world all around us, from extreme weather, wildfires and floods to droughts, melting polar caps and rising sea levels. It is therefore expedient that as a forward-thinking society, we put in place measures to address this or we would have mortgaged both our future and that of future generations.

“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.”