For National Apprenticeship Week article

Why apprenticeships are critical to tackling climate change

National Grid research shows the UK needs 400,000 jobs to achieve net zero by 2050. Finding and fostering young talent to build this essential workforce is a priority, helped by the news that a career tackling climate change is the second most popular choice for 18 to 24 year-olds.

Developing and training young talent through apprenticeship programmes is critical to building the workforce the UK needs to deliver on its climate change ambitions. This month we welcomed 63 new apprentices in our latest intake, helping them embark on a career that will contribute to a clean energy future. Our September 2021 intake will increase to over 80 apprentices.

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 is one of their top choices.

Supporting young people through apprenticeship schemes

Against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, when 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, our New Talent and STEM Manager, 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.

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.”

Shaping skills for our green energy future

Sally-Anne Dudley, our UK Head of Learning, 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.”

Our apprenticeships combine on-the-job experience with a range of technical and leadership training at our Training Centre based in Eakring, Nottinghamshire. We are the first apprenticeship provider to be rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted for three consecutive years.

Meet some of our apprentices