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Apprenticeships are critical to tackling climate change

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@nationalgriduk research shows the UK needs 400,000 jobs to achieve net zero by 2050. A career tackling climate change is the second most popular choice for 18-24-year-olds. The sector must harness young talent to build the workforce we need

Developing and training young talent through apprenticeship programmes will be critical to building the workforce the UK needs to deliver on climate change ambitions. National Grid has been excited to welcome 63 apprentices in its latest intake this month (January 2021) helping them embark on a career that will contribute to a clean energy future. The number of apprentices will increase by a third for our September 2021 intake.

National Grid’s ‘Building The Net Zero Energy Workforce’ report highlighted 400,000 roles that need to be filled across the UK energy sector to achieve net zero by 2050. The research shows that many people want a career that helps the planet, and that for young adults aged 18-24 in particular, a job that involves tackling climate change would be one of their top choices.  

Against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, where young people are facing one of the toughest job markets for generations, there is a huge opportunity to support and leverage motivated young minds through apprenticeship programmes and help the UK reach its climate goals.

Dan Tingle, New Talent and STEM manager at National Grid, says: “The green skills deficit is a huge challenge for the energy industry and needs to be plugged quickly if we are to develop capabilities needed for a clean energy future. We know many young people are motivated by climate change and are more passionate than ever about tackling the issue.

“Apprenticeships will be crucial to building the net zero workforce. The UK needs people from a variety of backgrounds to deliver on climate ambitions, bringing fresh ideas and solutions to new challenges. We’re proud to be continuing our apprenticeship programmes in the pandemic environment, providing vital training and development for the generation that will help achieve a greener society and help the UK build back better.”

Sally-Anne Dudley, UK Head of Learning at National Grid, says:

“Apprenticeships can foster and shape the skills needed for a green energy future through a mix of studying and hands-on experience, transforming the interest young people have in tackling climate change into a reality. The schemes can set them on the path of a meaningful career and provide the right environment for them to become, for example, the civil, mechanical and electrical engineers or data analysts of tomorrow. New roles linked to electric vehicles, hydrogen and carbon capture technology will also emerge as the journey to net zero evolves – these too could benefit from the mindset and motivation of today’s youth.”

Developing young talent is a top priority for the business. National Grid delivers a range of technical and leadership programmes at its Training Centre based in Eakring and was the first apprenticeship provider to be rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted for three consecutive years.

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