Research carried out by youth charity The Prince’s Trust and pollsters Public First finds that only 27 per cent of all young people can explain what a ‘green job’ is.

An average of only 31 per cent of people approaching working age have heard of Net Zero, the organisations’ poll reveals. NEETs – youngsters not in employment, education or training – are even less confident with the term.

This poll’s conclusions from a monarchy-linked charity runs contrary to technology enthusiastic young energy innovators such as in community-focused Energy Garden London, pictured.

The Trust believes youngsters’ levels of ignorance imperils government hopes to recruit new workers into trades such as heat pump installer.  One estimate says 50,000 technicians are needed to meet the Conservatives’ target of 600,000 fittings by 2028.

For  their report out today, ‘Generation Green Jobs?’ research consultancy Public First polled 2,054 people under 25 years old.  Five focus groups held online with young people in the West Midlands, Teesside, and Fife – all areas slated by the government for new green industries– added to insights.

Forty-six per cent had not heard about green jobs during their education; among NEETs – 64 per cent – and young women – 61 per cent higher – ignorance was higher still.  Only 41 per cent of NEET youngsters had an interest in training for green jobs, compared with 59 per cent of all young people.

Only 5 per cent of youngsters imagined any green workers without university degrees, despite many low carbon technical roles being suited to vocational training.

Despite 49 per cent of young people declaring climate change as one of our time’s most pressing issues, only 18 per cent said that the environmental sustainability of their employer would be a factor in deciding between jobs.

Young people identified career progression (49 per cent), job security (48 per cent) and flexible hours (48 per cent) would increase their interest in working in the green economy. But they linked none to green jobs. Poor pay was identified as the top disadvantage of green jobs, citied by 25 per cent.

The  Trust wants its new modules on green skills to be included in Achieve, an education programme delivered in schools.

Lindsey Wright, The Prince’s Trust’s head of future sectors, said: “This report provides a stark warning about how much needs to be done to educate young people about green jobs and offer structured pathways into training and employment. Problematically, young people who could benefit most from these opportunities do not see themselves as suitable“.


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