Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

British Gas to create 'green jobs'

British Gas is participating in a scheme aimed at tackling Britain's youth unemployment crisis

British Gas has unveiled plans to create 1,000 "green" jobs over the next three years for young, unemployed people.

The energy giant has teamed up with environmental charity Global Action Plan and consultancy Accenture to provide free training to more than 1,400 young people not currently in education, employment or training.

Each person who completes the five-day course is guaranteed an interview with the energy supplier, where it is anticipated 1,000 under-25s will go on to get jobs with the company.

The project, dubbed Transform, comes in response to the UK's continuing youth unemployment crisis, with almost one million 16 to 24-year-olds out of education, employment or training, British Gas said.

Claire Williams, managing director of British Gas' new energy division, 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."

Under the partnership, Global Action Plan will provide training to 17 to 25-year-olds on Jobseekers' Allowance who, if successful, will gain a Btec qualification in sustainability.

The Transform project, which is backed by Jobcentre Plus, was piloted in Walsall and Glasgow last year, where 17 new British Gas jobs were filled by graduates from the course. The new employees are now working as tenant liaison and community engagement officers, helping provide people in their local areas with advice on how to tackle fuel poverty and take advantage of energy efficiency improvements.

The new jobs are designed to help British Gas meet the Energy Company Obligation, which came into effect last month and forces power companies to provide efficiency technology and home improvements to low-income households and those considered to be at risk of fuel poverty.

Trewin Restorick, chief executive of Global Action Plan, said: "The Transform programme will change the lives of young people up and down the country. The only way we're going to solve the most pressing challenges in the economy is by working in partnership."

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