An energy firm is recruiting school pupils from the South West to join its board and advise it on how to tackle climate change.
The move comes in a year that has seen young people face unprecedented uncertainty with regard to their future career prospects, with more and more young people looking to green sectors for a sustainable career.
Nearly half (46%) of young people in the South West say that the COVID-19 pandemic has made them worry about their future career chances, new research from Good Energy can reveal.
The research, which polled 18-34 year olds from across the UK, found that looking ahead, young people are looking for the chance to protect the planet as they enter the job market. A third (33%) of 18-34 year olds across the South West think that green and sustainable sectors offer a more secure career path than those that pollute the planet, while six in 10 (59%) would prefer to work for an environmentally sustainable business.
In contrast, the average non-executive board director for a FTSE 150 company is over 60 years old. So Good Energy, a green electricity company based in Wiltshire, is taking the extraordinary step of recruiting secondary school-aged young people from the South West to apply to be ‘shadow’ board directors, giving a unique opportunity for teenagers from the region to gain unparalleled experience with a sustainable business before they have even left school.
With four in 10 (41%) of 18-34 year olds in the South West describing themselves as active eco-warriors, Good Energy is aiming to harness the enthusiasm, passion and ideas of the younger generation, ensuring that the company delivers on its promise to contribute to a more sustainable future.
Working with environmental education organization Eco-Schools, Good Energy is reaching out to schoolteachers across the UK to help their students apply for the job of Board Director for Our Future. The final appointed six – who will be appointed from a range of backgrounds – will be able to help guide the company on the social, climate, environmental and energy issues that matter to young people.
Juliet Davenport, CEO and Founder of Good Energy, said: “Grown-ups have had decades to act on climate change, but have blown-it. That’s why we are taking the radical step of appointing a youth board. They have a better grasp of climate change and the best ideas on how can save the planet.
“We are seeking school pupils from the South West to apply to become a member of Good Energy’s Future Board. We want them to advise us on the best ways to tackle the climate emergency.”
Lee Wray-Davies, National Manager at Eco-Schools, said: “We know first-hand how passionate and engaged young people are in protecting the environment. Energy is an area of huge importance to the future of the planet, and this is a brilliant initiative to make it exciting and get the younger generation involved in shaping the future of the energy industry. The Good Energy Future Board will communicate the role of renewable energy in tackling the climate emergency whilst providing kids with a valuable and practical life skill.”
Mary Sue Leonard, School Eco-Coordinator at Worle Community School in Weston-super-Mare, said: “We have a really engaged community of students at Worle Community School that are passionate about taking action on climate change. This is a brilliant opportunity for them to use their enthusiasm and ideas for protecting the environment, while also working on skills that will help them with university and job applications. Our pupils are really excited about applying for the Good Energy Future Board, and we would love to see more businesses bring the opinions of the younger generation. That way, our young people can be at heart of creating a more sustainable future.”
Further details of how young people can apply can be found here: www.goodenergy.co.uk