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Educate Magazine - 2021-05-01

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Green Skills Week introduced

16+

Young people have been pivotal in fighting for their future and the future of our planet, but there is more to fighting climate change than working in politics or renewable energy. There is a wealth of careers in the green economy that are unknown to many, including jobs in green technology, travel, construction, agriculture and finance. That’s why educational equality charity Speakers for Schools has teamed up with Britain’s most environmentally focused businesses, to tackle the unemployment crisis and future-proof the next generation in a post-COVID economy. To coincide with the UK Government’s plans for a Green Industrial Revolution, Speakers for Schools launched Green Skills Week, a nationwide campaign to introduce young people to careers in green sectors. Young people aged 11+ across the UK took part in the action-packed week, including 5,000 work experience placements and virtual talks with 80 sector-leading experts. The line up included Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, Andrew Bailey, Governor, Bank of England and Hugo Tagholm, the chief executive of Surfers Against Sewage. 2,440 students got involved with Green Skills Week from over 800 schools. Of those who took part, almost a quarter receive free school meals, have special educational needs or are in care, as the campaign aims to reach all children and help level the playing field. Omaima Oimdina is a 17-year-old student from Birmingham who is keen to work in a green career. She has undertaken a number of work placements with Speakers for Schools to find out what is available. Omaima said: “Many young students have been prevented from doing in-person work experience due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but virtual work experience is equally as good. “The work experience I did with Speakers for Schools in construction this year meant I could get to know a new industry, speak to young people starting their careers across multiple companies and learn about the day-to-day ins and outs of a job. During one workshop, “I learnt how to measure my carbon footprint, which definitely left some food for thought!” Jason Elsom, CEO of Speakers for Schools, said: “As the pandemic presents unprecedented barriers to young people, we are proud to promote Green Skills Week as a great opportunity to imagine an exciting future. Green Skills Week has also started to equip them with the skills and experiences they need to flourish in the Green Economy. “As the UK aims to reach net-zero by 2050, the key players to make this happen are in education today and together we must build pathways for all young people to contribute to this ambitious goal.” To find out more visit www.greenskillsweek.org

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