Nurturing our Net Zero Pathways

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You may have heard a lot in the news recently about COP26? For those of you who don’t know, COP stands for “Conference of the Parties” and in their 26th annual gathering, countries all around the world sat down to revisit their climate pledges to become ‘carbon neutral’ by 2050. 

Why is this important? Well, it’s hard to ignore that we are in a rising global crisis. The Earth is warming up at an alarming rate. The reason for this is the increase in human-caused greenhouse gases, which has led to health, ecological and humanitarian crises. Despite this, the fight against climate change presents a real opportunity to transition to a low carbon world, creating new jobs and innovation both locally and internationally. 

The UK has long been a leader and strong advocate for fighting against climate change, but it isn’t an equal race to Net-Zero. The transition to a low carbon future will have different impacts on different regions across the UK. And ours is one to watch! 

As a heavily industrialised region, the North East of England is prone to a plethora of economic challenges, such as higher rates of unemployment, poverty and deprivation, compared to the national average, so the need for us to focus our attention on how we, as a region can turn this around couldn’t be more important. 

And although 2050 seems like a lightyear away, businesses need to get ahead of the curve NOW by switching how they do things to become more environmentally friendly because changing entire operating systems and habits of a lifetime is no quick fix. 

Thankfully, it’s not all doom and gloom. Innovation (alongside resilience and raw grit) is at the heart of the North East. 

…It’s something we’ve always been known for, and something we are never short of. We have a legacy of skills and development sites in the right locations where new technologies and approaches are tested in real-time and creative solutions to challenges related to climate change and adaptation are found. We are also uniquely positioned, combining rural, semi-rural, urban and coastal areas. These natural assets can improve the quality of life, biodiversity and carbon sequestration. So, it’s fair to say that the foundations for a green looking future are there. We just need the manpower to take it to the next level. Especially in the Construction and Social Housing sector, which is huge for our region!

Now more than ever construction companies are seeking employees who are willing to embrace change and understand how to work smarter as well as greener to pave the way for a more sustainable future – that’s where YOU come in!

In 2022, Geon Training Solutions will be launching a first of its kind Retrofit programme, as part of our new Green Skills Traineeship. We’re on the hunt for the future leaders, the people who will take the lead on ensuring that we as a region, as well as a nation, and even the entire world achieve Net Zero in advance of 2050. 

We’ve teamed up with North East employer and influential regeneration specialists RE:GEN Group to drive awareness for the need to work more sustainability in the domestic retrofit sector. As well as helping us to make the concept of ‘sustainability’ accessible to all. Retrofitting and renovating domestic buildings is essential for combatting climate change. However, current rates of retrofitting are far lower than necessary for achieving global net-zero targets because businesses in the sector are not engaging due to cost, lack of education and skills gaps! 

The UK retrofit industry must grow 10X to address 23% of UK emissions

Our Green Skills traineeship is dedicated to tackling the lack of education and skills gaps in the domestic retrofit sector. We are screaming out for young, ambitious individuals aged 19-24 and currently unemployed to join us in learning the best-in-class skills to sustainably retrofit social housing – playing a crucial role in improving the lives and communities of the North East and doing your bit to contribute to the Race to Net-Zero. (Talk about a sense of pride!)

Commenting on why this is so important, Nadia Scott, MD at Geon Training Solutions said:

“The impact of Net Zero for the North East depends on the current skills base, the skills needed during the transition and the quality of jobs created from the transition. I believe that much of the skills base within the North East is transferable to a Net Zero economy and while some retraining, as well as the implementation of new training, is necessary, Geon was born to bring this vision alive. We have all of the tools at our disposal to support learners and employers in plugging the gaps to take us closer to achieving our Net Zero goals on a global level as much as local.” 

Lee Francis, CEO at RE:GEN Group adds: 

“In the retrofit industry, skills gaps have been cited as a major issue, in particular with the adoption of new technologies and solutions. At RE:GEN we are incredibly passionate about challenging the norm on this, and together with Nadia, we are putting the strategies in place to nurture and develop the right individuals to plug the current skills gaps needed to deliver and exceed our retrofit commitments.”

Nadia Scott, MD at Geon Training Solutions adds:

“As a result of Green Skills traineeship and regional effort to a Net Zero transition, we will see a new wave of jobs created across the region – jobs of equal or greater quality compared to those jobs sadly lost or replaced in recent years. To be at the forefront of this change with an employer like RE:GEN is an amazing opportunity for us, we are proud to be partnered up with such an influential employer in the construction sector.”

Unlike everything else in the past two years, global warming is the one thing that doesn’t standstill. To all aspiring individuals reading this, make 2022 your year! You have the chance to do something worthwhile and meaningful for your career as well as our planet by joining us in the race to Net-Zero. 

It’s about thinking globally, but acting locally.

Click here to express your interest in the Green Skills traineeship

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