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Young People Learn About Sustainability

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Young people gathered at the University of Worcester to learn about what they can do to be more sustainable in their lives and careers.

The Skills for Tomorrow event saw 180 pupils from secondary schools across Herefordshire and Worcestershire take part in a host of activities at the University’s Riverside building on June 9 and 10.

The fourth annual event was designed to raise pupil’s awareness of growing career opportunities associated with areas such as responsible tourism, ethical food production and sustainable cities.

Pupils attended workshops devised by the University’s Institute of Education on food, transport and tourism, which were led by industry professionals and experts.

In the exhibition hall pupils heard from global and local companies about their responses to sustainability and the job roles in their organisations where sustainability skills are required.

This included a chance to try eating crickets as an alternative source of protein provided by Six Legs Farm, a business set up by former University of Worcester student, Tilly Jarvis, which breeds crickets for human consumption.

They also found out how controls on taps and showers could save water and energy from Malvern-based Neoperl.

Teachers attending had their own specialist session on sustainability to enhance their skills.

Worcester MP Robin Walker attended the event on June 10 to speak to pupils and even sampled the crickets.

He said: “The average school pupil is vastly better informed than many when it comes to sustainability and the importance of international development and we want to harness that enthusiasm they have for these things to make sure they have better career chances and life chances.

“I think an event like this can help to do it.”

Worcester MP Robin Walker, with Josie Taylor, 13, Katy Boom, Director of Sustainability for the University of Worcester, Hattie Simons, 12, and University students Catron Gauci and Kyle Harding with a 1950s bus.Katy Boom, Director of Sustainability for the University of Worcester, said pupils would take away what they had learnt and share it with their fellow pupils and families.

She said: “Individually we can all make a change, make a difference.

“It’s a brilliant event and each year we develop it further to more fully integrate what we’re doing with the schools, with the businesses and with the university students and we’re working on developing longer term outcomes.”

“This is just the beginning of project work we’ll be doing with the schools and businesses.”

Bryan Bartlett, from Neoperl, said: “These are the people that we need to reach if we’re going to start a culture of energy and water saving in this country.

“It’s definitely a very good event to get children involved with.”

Millie Chambers, 12, a pupil at Nunnery Wood High School in Worcester, said: “It makes you think about what we can do to change things and be part of the world.”

Elena Lengthorn, teacher and eco schools coordinator at Nunnery Wood, added: “It’s essential that our young people are prepared for the world that awaits them and understand their role and the possibilities for creating a better future.

“This event helps them realise their potential.”

The event was the product of collaboration between the University, Worcestershire County Council, volunteers from the Rotary Club of Worcester supported by other local Rotary clubs and the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.