Generation Green - supporting young people to get into green careers
I was lucky to be offered the Generation Green funded internship with the Field Studies Council. In my role I am helping to develop numerous training courses in natural history with highly experienced tutors and partners.” Bek Trehern, Engagement and Training Assistant.
Bek has been employed by environmental education charity the Field Studies Council on an internship funded by Generation Green, a 16-month government funded project that aims to connect young people to nature, create and save jobs, and build an aspirant workforce for a green recovery.
The internship, which attracted more than 250 applications, is giving Bek a chance to gain experience in the competitive biodiversity sector. Five months into her role, she told us, “Not only am I learning technical skills such as the use of marketing tools, web development and an online learning platform, I have also developed many personal and professional skills."
Generation Green is the first project to be delivered by the Access Unlimited coalition, which comprises YHA (England & Wales), The Outward Bound Trust, Scouts, Girlguiding, Field Studies Council and the 10 English National Parks.
The project aims to target young people aged 14 to 26 years from the North, Midlands, and coastal and deprived urban areas. At the core of these are young people that are traditionally less likely - due to social, economic and cultural factors - to connect or engage with nature and conservation.
The six organisations involved will provide jobs, training, volunteering roles, residentials and outdoor and online learning experiences, aiming to offer more than 100,000 opportunities to connect young people to nature – many for the first time – and to cultivate a sense of care for the natural environment.
As well as employing Bek, the Field Studies Council are using Generation Green funding to offer GCSE and A-level students subsidised day and residential courses at their centres, as well as over 95 online and place based eco skills courses for young people aged 18-25.
Dylan Byrne, Generation Green Project Manager at Field Studies Council, explained: “We hope our new online courses will enable greater accessibility for young people to develop their skillset and, like Bek, develop long-term careers in the sector.”
Generation Green exists to address the issue of the environment workforce being one of least diverse workforces in England. Young people from deprived areas, BAME groups and disadvantaged backgrounds have fewer opportunities to experience nature and the outdoors at an early age, affecting their engagement with the natural environment in later life.
The FSC hope to reach some of these groups with their course and publication offering, having already used funding to provide 5000 free wildlife ID guides to young people aged 16-25 and those working with that age group. 47% who registered to receive guides were from the most deprived areas in England (1-5 on the Indices of Multiple Deprivation scale) while nearly 10% of recipients identify as being from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background.
Dylan explained “We were overwhelmed with the take up of the free guides and pleased that requests came from a range of young people, from those who’ve spent very little time connecting with nature to wildlife enthusiasts keen to develop their skills. We’re really looking forward to finding out how both groups make use of the guides over the summer and what they might do next as a result of having that experience”.
Read more about Generation Green at https://www.yha.org.uk/generationgreen and the Field Studies Council at https://www.field-studies-council.org/about-us/projects/generation-green/
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