By Daniel Hunter

Over half (59%) of the country’s young people (19-25) say they are interested in working in the green economy, according to research released by British Gas. But 38% of those interested say they don’t feel they have the skills to get a job in the sector.

The research is released as the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Rt Hon Edward Davey MP, visited the British Gas Training Academy in Thatcham to meet apprentices training to become British Gas engineers.

According to the research, a quarter of young people (26%) don’t feel the training and job opportunities currently on offer do enough to help develop skills they can use throughout their career.

The research shows that young people see the green economy as a route into secure, long-term employment. More than three-quarters (78%) say they recognise the importance of the green economy to the UK’s growth over the next ten years.

When asked what would help more young people get a job in the green economy, the research showed that:

• Thirty-eight percent of young people want companies to offer apprenticeships
• Half (50%) say that more work experience and internships need to be offered
• A fifth (21%) called on school career advisors to give students more information on jobs and training opportunities in the green economy.

The green economy, which includes jobs in areas such as energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation, is a major growth area for the UK. The Green Deal alone is expected to create 250,000 green jobs by 2030.

Rt Hon Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said: “The Government is absolutely committed to creating opportunities for the private sector to invest in the green skills and job opportunities that young people are looking for. The Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation will generate new jobs at a national and local level, and will help the green economy to continue growing. British Gas’ Academy in Thatcham is a fantastic example of this in action — it’s creating opportunities for young people to develop skills and experience that will set them up for life.”

Chris Jansen, Managing Director of British Gas Services, said: “At British Gas, we have a long and proud history of equipping young people with the skills they need to meet the UK’s energy needs. Since 2003, our Academies have trained over 5,000 apprentices. We can do more in the future as the Green economy will create long-term jobs and growth over the next twenty years. Today’s research shows that young people welcome this support and want to be a part of the growing green economy.”

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