Sustainability, employability and youthwork: developing skills for a sustainable and just future
“When we talk about ‘green jobs’… the feeling is that going forward, every job is going to be a ‘green job’. As we make the transition to Net Zero, it means every workplace, every environment. It doesn’t matter what you do within your workplace; everybody will have to make a contribution…and Scotland is ideally placed to take advantage of this.”Ian Menzies, Senior Education Officer, Education Scotland
On 21st February, YouthLink Scotland and Learning for Sustainability Scotland were delighted to welcome participants to ‘Sustainability, Employability and Youthwork: developing skills for a sustainable and just future’ – our first webinar for 2023.
This is the latest in our award-winning series of webinars, and in it, we built on previous sessions to explore and discuss how youthwork/school-based practitioners can:
- Support young people to develop the skills, values, knowledge and confidence needed for a just and sustainable future
- Support young people to engage with ‘green jobs’ and improve employability
- Contribute to the national Learning for Sustainability Action Plan and the priorities of the Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan.
We heard from three key speakers:
- Ian Menzies, Senior Education Officer from Education Scotland, gave an overview of “The current context for ‘green skills’ and LfS in Scotland“; setting the scene around the way in which ‘green jobs’ are becoming the norm across a diverse range of sectors: with rapid job growth and expansion already underway across Scotland as we transition to Net Zero.
- Naomi Dixon, Development Officer for Learning for Sustainability at YouthLink Scotland, then shared an overview of the role of the youth work sector in ‘Connecting sustainability, employability and youth work‘: sharing some of the outputs and further actions arising from the one of the three key asks of young people as outlined in the ‘Our Bright Future’ initiative, which aimed to help young people aged 11-24 gain vital skills and experience and improve their wellbeing. This ask was around ‘support to get into environmental jobs’ in particular. Naomi outlined some of the methodologies and opportunities which supported and enhanced this ask, and helped participating young people to ‘become work-ready’. She also shared more on the newly-integrated National Youth Work Outcomes and Skills Framework, which will be of use to practitioners when measuring sustainable skills development.
- Our final speaker was Jennifer Ba, Youth and Children’s Development Officer at SCOREscotland, who outlined ways in which they are supporting young people from diverse ethnic communities across the Edinburgh area to engage with sustainability issues, such as inequality, but also to focus on skills development and confidence-building through activities such as sustainability-related volunteering roles in their local communities, ‘mock COP’ events, engagement with the outdoors and programmes such as their CommUnity Youth Voices initiative.
Participants then had the opportunity to work in groups to look at the opportunities and challenges of engaging young people with ‘green skills’ and ‘green careers’.
Our warmest thanks goes to our three key speakers and all those who participated in this session. Details of our next youth-based webinar will be announced soon.