National Grid ESO supports CSE’s Bright Green Future Programme

16 June 2021

We are facing a global climate and ecological emergency and to meet net zero targets, we need new leadership emerging from all across society reflecting and embracing the diverse voices and concerns of every citizen.

Within the environmental sector, Black, brown and other minority ethnic communities are poorly represented and our Bright Green Future programme is developing a new generation of environmental leaders from these communities.

As it heads into its sixth year, we are delighted to announce sponsorship from the National Grid ESO, an organisation making strides in the energy and environment sector with the ambition to operate a zero-carbon electricity system by 2025.

This partnership will give our next cohort of BGF students fantastic opportunities to learn about careers in the sustainability and energy sectors and the power to make a real difference.

CSE’s pioneering BGF environmental leadership programme works with 16-19 year olds from Black, brown and other minority ethnic groups to provide leadership skills, opportunities for self-development, future career prospects and professional networks.

Many young people know a lot about school climate strikes but through the innovative BGF programme, CSE empowers young people to incorporate their passion for a better future for the planet into their bigger personal life choices including careers.

The programme is made up of five different elements: training, local eco projects, work experience, summer school and mentoring. These elements ensure every young person in the programme leaves with the skills and knowledge to make a difference in their own communities or further afield. Applications for the next cohort will open soon.

Inclusion in the environmental sector

With support from National Grid ESO, we will continue to champion inclusion in the environmental sector which has always been at the heart of the BGF programme. BGF recruitment targets Black, brown and other minority ethnic young people, though the programme is not restricted, providing opportunities for disadvantaged students from a range of backgrounds.

Black, brown and other ethnic minority young people are significantly under represented in environmental careers:

  • The UK environmental workforce is one of the least diverse, with 3.1% black and brown people compared to 19.1% across the UK labour force (Policy Exchange, 2017).
  • Black and brown students are more likely to say that an environmental career is appealing (57% compared to 44% of White British students), but 34% reported they were discouraged by the lack of Black and brown representation in the environmental sector (NUS, IEMA and The Equality Trust, 2018). 

Through BGF we hope to address these systemic issues and ensure that no one is left behind as we transition to net zero. We need young people from all sections of society to ensure that a wide range of voices are represented on issues that will affect us all.

Roy Kareem, BGF programme lead said: “We’re delighted to partner with National Grid ESO to develop the Bright Green Future programme over the next year. Our BGF students want more energy sector experience and playing a key role in the energy system transition to net zero, ESO is a great partner for the programme bringing lots of additional benefits to students who will get to work with ESO staff through mentoring, career webinars and events.”

Further information about the BGF programme can be found here.

If your business is interested in supporting the programme through sponsorship or by offering your expertise to support our students, we would love to hear from you. For an informal discussion please contact jenny.coles@cse.org.uk

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