John Lewis, Waitrose and Avanti West Coast are among the list of forward-thinking employers taking part in a national festival designed to engage young people with exciting green career opportunities.
With estimates that a shift to a greener economy could create 24 million jobs worldwide by 2030, the virtual Growing Talent Green festival was a timely intervention to help challenge stereotypes surrounding ‘green jobs’ and demonstrate the diversity of exciting career pathways in sectors from retail to transport and professional services.
Taking place from 27 June 2022 until 1 July 2022, the summer festival took place online and formed part of the wider Growing Talent Green programme being delivered by Ahead Partnership and funded by the John Lewis Partnership Community Investment Fund.
Employer-led activities that took place included interactive workshops, guest speeches and panels. Employers involved included John Lewis; St Modwen Homes; Avanti West Coast; Pinsent Masons; Northern Powergrid; Tyler Grange; Horiba Mira; Waitrose; DEFRA; and Buro Happold.
Stephanie Burras CBE, chief executive of Ahead Partnership, said: “We know that young people are very switched-on to environmental issues and have the drive and enthusiasm needed to succeed in green jobs, however the landscape is evolving quickly in this area. Through activities like our Growing Talent Green festival, we’re helping to ensure that students are equipped with correct, up-to-date information about the green economy, workplace and skills demands to inform their future career choices.
“In turn, our Growing Talent Green activities are a really practical way for the employers involved to act upon the ‘E’ and ‘S’ in ESG (environmental, social and governance), inspiring the future of the green workforce while also engaging with young people in the local community.”
Lydia Butler, Sustainability and Ethics Specialist at the John Lewis Partnership, said: “We are delighted to partner with Ahead Partnership for this event. As a business, our aim is to educate young people about sectors that they may not have considered. This platform provides the perfect opportunity to support young people in order that they find meaningful employment in the future for a happy life.”
Students from 16 secondary schools from Aberdeen to Ashford in Kent took part in activity as part of the festival, and as a result, 94% of the young people involved said that they had a better understanding of the green economy following the initiative. Also enhancing students’ knowledge of how they can get involved in the industry, 93.9% of those involved said that the activity had increased their understanding about skills, qualifications and entry routes into the green economy.
The recent festival forms part of the wider Growing Talent Green programme which will engage schools and colleges across Aberdeen; Birmingham; Peterborough; Tunbridge Wells; Chester; York; Sheffield; Ashford; and Basingstoke. Over the course of the next 12 months, local and national employers will help to design and deliver in-person and virtual activities including careers panels; speed networking; Meet the Employer events; employer profile videos; and parent/carer events.