In honour of the recent Coronation of King Charles III, six green apprenticeships have been marked with the Coronation emblem in recognition of their sustainability credentials. Handpicked by industry experts, these apprenticeships contribute to creating a low carbon economy by developing the skills needed to support the transition to net zero. With the official Coronation emblem used by employers and the government to promote these apprenticeships, it is hoped they will be recognized as the gold-standard for green skills training.
The sustainable apprenticeships that have been selected for this recognition are:
- Countryside Worker (Level 2 – carrying out specific environmental and conservation tasks);
- Forest Craftsperson (Level 3 – carrying out the practical operations required to create, maintain and harvest forests and woodlands);
- Low Carbon Heating Technician (Level 3 – carrying out installation of environmentally friendly heating);
- Installation Electrician and Maintenance Electrician (Level 3 – installing, maintaining and repairing electrical systems in industrial, commercial and domestic environments);
- Sustainability Business Specialist (Level 7 – helping organisations to manage the resources they use and the waste they generate according to environmentally friendly principles);
- Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Practitioner (Level 4 – being a social conscience for the organisation, helping innovate and drive ambitions for social and environmental change).
Reflecting His Majesty’s longstanding commitment to ensuring natural assets endure for future generations, these sustainable apprenticeships were designed by employers working with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE), who considered the impact of each occupation on the environment and future workforce.
Far from being a one-off, or a passing fad, industry experts are predicting that these sustainable apprenticeships are here to stay. According to RateMyApprenticeship, the go-to site for young people considering an apprenticeship, in the past year Google searches for ‘sustainability apprenticeship’ in the UK have increased by almost 20% as more candidates look for ways to contribute to an environmentally friendly future. It seems that the way in which young people are viewing their future in the work place is changing, and sustainability is coming into sharp focus.
The demand for green apprenticeships
Co-founder of RateMyApprenticeship, Oliver Sidwell, explained that as the data shows, the interest and the need for sustainable apprenticeships has grown immensely. “We predict it will continue to do so,” Sidwell said. “With these apprenticeships getting a high level of recognition such as the Coronation emblem, this will only bolster companies to reflect on what they contribute to a sustainable economy and we predict a domino effect where they will begin to open up their doors for some of the fresh, young minds to bring their low-carbon, environmentally-friendly ideas into the workplace.”
There is no doubt that the brand and experience of apprenticeships has transformed over recent years. There are so many companies that have seen that there is a lot of talent that is not going to university for a variety of reasons. Some people want to stay in their local area and companies like GSK, BAE Systems and others all have offices outside London and look at local pools of talent to employ.
“These sustainability apprenticeships reflect King Charles’ great passion for the environment,” Sidwell said. “The gold-standard accreditation elevates these apprenticeships and people are talking about them around the world. It is still early days, but there has definitely been an increased volume of searches because of this greater focus on sustainability. The Coronation emblem is helping this wave of momentum.”
It will be interesting to see what other companies do in response to these sustainable apprenticeships. Many in the field suspect that more companies will follow. “Being able to earn and learn while gaining a recognized qualification is very attractive to young people right now,” Sidwell explained. “It means that their debts potentially won’t be as high as they would be by taking a traditional degree route, and there are increasing degree apprenticeship routes opening up. The landscape in further and higher education is changing. I suspect that these six sustainable apprenticeships are just to get us going. Companies need sustainable development leads and there is great potential for these roles to be filled by young, enthusiastic and knowledgeable people with recent, highly relevant qualifications.”
In addition, there has been a rise in the volume of Sustainability Apprenticeships within environmentally conscious businesses. Given that young people are more likely to be climate-conscious, this is a perfect example of using apprenticeships to access new talent. “AstraZeneca recruited for a new Global Sustainability Level 4 Apprenticeship,” Sidwell said, “stating their commitment to change within the advert: ‘we truly value Early Talent– their thoughts, ideas and contributions. So throughout the programme, you’ll be encouraged and inspired to speak up, have a voice and make an impact.’”
The future for sustainable skills
University can be a powerful path to success, but it is not by any stretch the only path out there for young people. With sustainable apprenticeships being under such a prestigious, and significant, spotlight, the future is looking bright for this particular domain of further education. And as we work towards the net zero goals, the need to prioritise green skills has never been so great. The bottom line is that further education can be a powerhouse in our fight against devastating climate change, and these sustainable apprenticeships can be front and centre in that fight.
Find out more…
- RateMyApprenticeship: Apprenticeships, School Leaver Jobs & Reviews
- Coronation 2023: 6 green apprenticeships and how to apply - The Education Hub (blog.gov.uk)
About the author
After graduating with a degree in Politics and International Relations from the University of Reading, Elizabeth Holmes completed her PGCE at the Institute of Education, University of London. She then taught humanities and social sciences in schools in London, Oxfordshire and West Sussex, where she ran the history department in a challenging comprehensive. Elizabeth specialises in education but also writes on many other issues and themes. As well as her regular blogs for Eteach and FEjobs, her books have been published by a variety of publishers and translated around the world. Elizabeth has also taught on education courses in HE and presented at national and international conferences.