Green graduates frustrated that they can't do more, says report

Almost two thirds of graduates in green jobs are frustrated in their roles and feel their skills are being underused.

65% of environmental graduates surveyed disagreed that this was the 'greenest Government ever'

65% of environmental graduates surveyed disagreed that this was the 'greenest Government ever'

This is one of the findings from a report commissioned by sustainability charity Change Agents UK that surveyed 500 graduates in green jobs.

The survey found that despite almost half having Master's degrees many were suffering from structural unemployment.

Change Agents UK is calling on the coalition to take action as 72% of graduates surveyed were critical of the Government and did not feel supported. And 65% disagreed that this was the greenest Government ever.

Karl McGrory, head of change partnerships at Change Agents UK, explained that sustainability graduates were of a character that were more likely to feel dissatisfied if their skills were underused.

"These are passionate people who want to put their skills into practice and believe their skills can make a difference, which makes them more frustrated if they feel they can't," he said.

While 87% would take a lower salary to be in a role where they would contribute fully, McGrory also warned that underpaying graduates was also feeding into dissatisfaction.

Change Agents said it can work with companies to improve skills helping to address structural employment issues and finds paid placements for its network of graduates and encourages them to set up their own enterprises.

"It's about making the business case for these roles that they are cost positive and this is why these projects are often extended," said McGrory.

But he added that it was difficult to get senior management to launch these projects in the first place and Government intervention was needed.

Sue Guest head of strategy at the Energy & Utility Skills (EU Skills) Group said there needed to be more employer input into sustainability education and training and that it was working with employers to improve this.

"Many establishments have jumped on the sustainability bandwagon and are progressing graduates through the system who in some cases do not fit the needs of employers, or expectations of roles and are not aligned due to the lack of employer input into the courses in the first place."

But overall she said the survey was positive about the development of skills - including technical skills - in this sector.

The survey found that three quarters felt they were still making a contribution to sustainable future. And 79% believed sustainable jobs would grow in the future.

edie staff


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