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British Gas to Create ‘1,000 Green Jobs’ for Unemployed Youth

Jessica Lyons Hardcastle

British Gas has announced plans for 1,000 skilled jobs over the next three years, all of which will be filled by unemployed young people.

The Transform program, a partnership between British Gas, Global Action Plan and Accenture, supported by Jobcentre Plus, will give free sustainability training to 1,400, 17- to 25-year-olds not currently in education, employment or training.

Global Action Plan will help target young unemployed people within the communities and provide the training through Accenture’s Skills to Succeed campaign, which has set a goal to equip 500,000 people around the world by 2015 with the skills to get a job or build a business.

British Gas, the UK’s largest energy supplier, will provide energy-efficiency job opportunities. Every person that successfully completes the course will earn a BTEC qualification and is guaranteed an interview with British Gas.

The partnership piloted Transform in Walsall and Glasgow between November and December 2012, filling all 17 available jobs.

The program follows a report by the Work Foundation, which finds that since the start of the recession, youth unemployment in the UK has risen faster than any other G8 nation. Some 1 million 16- to 24-year-olds in the UK are out of education, employment or training, it found.

British Gas says it has created 1,000 full-time jobs as part of its Energy Company Obligation (ECO) program, which helps build housing regeneration projects in communities. Under the ECO, the company will implement hundreds of community projects to install energy saving measures in homes, helping to cut energy bills and saving millions of metric tons of CO2.

Started in January, the ECO is intended to reduce the UK’s energy consumption and support people living in fuel poverty. It will do this by funding energy-efficiency improvements worth around £1.3 billion ($1.97 billion) every year.

The ECO will run until March 2015. It works alongside the Green Deal, which gives homes and businesses a new way of paying for energy-efficiency improvements such as insulation and new heating systems.

According to a January survey from Rexel of more than 2,000 respondents, however, 96 percent of Brits have never heard of the Green Deal, which allows improvements to be paid for over time via the owners’ electricity bills.

According to the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change, investing in energy efficiency could save the UK 196 TWh by 2020.

In late 2012, the state of Illinois and the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance launched a program to help unemployed and underemployed veterans earn the Building Operator Certification (BOC) to gain employment through the BOC Veterans Pilot program. This program directly addresses the issue of higher unemployment among Illinois returning veterans, which was over 11 percent in 2011.



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