Students have been shown the green light in to sustainable careers with a trip away from the classroom.
The new ‘Green Talent Programme’ encourages students to examine environmental and business issues, develop useful skills and provide insight into the types of jobs and career pathways available. It also encourages them to continue focusing on science, technology, engineering and maths subjects in their education.
Twelve students in Year 10 have became the first to complete the five-day course, working two days at the Eden Project in Cornwall and three days at EDF Energy’s Gadeon House office on Exeter Business Park.
Katya Verdonck, EDF Energy’s Head of Resourcing, said: “This is an exciting new initiative to engage with young people, equip them with new skills and really immerse them in the business and sustainability. It encourages them to think about the environmental impact of their behaviours, the links between business and environmental challenges and most importantly, sustainable solutions to those challenges.
The ‘Environmental Experience’, at the Eden Project, gave the 14 and 15-year-olds the opportunity to explore human dependency on nature, linking through to the environmental challenges we face and how individuals, communities and businesses can work to create solutions.
In Exeter, students took part in a variety of sessions, continuing the sustainable theme with a virtual ‘energy walk’ session, low carbon workshop, team-building, a ‘manager’s story’ session, CV-writing, Green Team workshop, careers speed-dating, before ending the week by making presentations on the issue of ‘how the business is preparing itself for a low-carbon future’.
Rob Clemens, Head of Humanities at West Exe Technology College, said: “All the students enjoyed themselves and gained many skills from the experience. The Green Talent Programme is well structured and gives the young people the opportunity to see for themselves not just how a business operates, but how it is facing up to key challenges that matter to us all – how we become more sustainable and help tackle climate change. It has made them think about what contribution they will make in their future career.”
It is hoped this project will be rolled out across the UK.