British Gas to boost youth employment with sustainability training

Unemployed young people are to benefit from free sustainability training, after British Gas announced plans to open up 1,000 energy efficiency retro-fitting jobs over the next three years.

Under the scheme, 1,400 17-25 year olds not currently in education or employment will be given the free training. Following this, each candidate that successfully completes the course will earn a BTEC qualification and is guaranteed an interview with British Gas.

Training will be provided through a partnership between environment charity Global Action Plan and management consulting company Accenture after a recent report by the Work Foundation revealed that, since the start of the recession, youth unemployment in the UK has risen faster than any other G8 nation.

The one thousand full-time roles were created by British Gas as part of its Energy Company Obligation (ECO) programme, which aims to deliver housing regeneration projects in local communities, enabling hard-pressed households to become more energy efficient.

The ECO programme was introduced in January 2013 and funds energy efficiency improvements worth around £1.3bn every year. Working alongside the Green Deal, the programme will run until March 2015, supporting the installation of energy efficiency measures in low-income households and areas, and in properties that are harder to treat.

British Gas New Energy managing director Claire Williams said: “Growth, unemployment and sustainability are big challenges for the country. Big British companies have a responsibility to make a positive contribution which is why we are taking action to create skilled green jobs in areas of low employment.

“This training will make a difference to unemployed young people who will get skills and jobs as well as hard-pressed households who will benefit from energy efficiency measures”.

Conor McGlone

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