November is the United Nations Climate Change summit COP27.
With the conference in its second week, we want to highlight some of the brilliant employers working hard to provide green skills training to their apprentices, with a total of 70 apprenticeships now supportive of green or net zero goals.
Steve Fowkes, head of green economy and skills at the Forestry Commission:
Steve has over 13 years of experience working for the forestry commission, influencing policy and specifically the skills agenda. He also sits on IfATE's Green Advisory Panel (GAD) helping to implement strategies that will make existing apprenticeships greener.
Steve enjoys working on the panel:
It’s great to work with other employers towards a collective goal. It’s also important to raise awareness for those who do not have much knowledge of forestry to provide valuable insight into the work that we do.
Steve worked on the development of the first-of-its-kind professional forester apprenticeship and its one of his proudest achievements to date:
This is a game-changer for the new generation of professional foresters and is attracting new drive and talent to the industry, employing cutting-edge science throughout the apprenticeship.
For the ideal candidate looking to undergo a forestry apprenticeship Steve encourages them to be passionate about the long-term difference they are making to society:
Taking on an apprenticeship in this industry isn’t like any other. The benefits will be felt for generations, in 50, 70 and 100 years as the trees mature. We are living in a time when there is unprecedented positivity surrounding the work that we do and recognition that there is a real need for it.
Louise Cairns, CEO at National Skills Academy for Food and Drink (NSAFD):
NSAFD is a non-profit organization that supports UK Food and Drink manufacturers to develop and strengthen the skills of their workforce and attract future talent.
With over 30 years in this industry, Louise notes it is not one often associated with sustainability. However, more brands are becoming consciously aware of their carbon footprint and taking steps to reduce this:
We’re finding some of the businesses we work with are looking to do things differently now. For example, one dairy company that is heavily reliant on energy are developing alternative ways of powering their plants through hydrogen with a view to having hydrogen production on site.
Packaging remains one of the biggest environmental concerns for the food and drinks industry but apprenticeships such as the Level 6 packaging professional apprenticeship have risen to overcome this challenge.
This is a really exciting opportunity for apprentices that will get involved with how packaging is developed and how we can provide sustainable alternatives: it is going to influence how we do things in the future.