Friday, 13 June 2014
Hundreds of secondary school students from across Worcestershire and Herefordshire attended the Your Green Future event at the University of Worcester last week.
The second annual event, held at the University’s Riverside building, gave 11 to 19 year-olds the chance to work with industry experts, local and national businesses and university sustainability students to explore the opportunities in a low carbon, sustainable future.
Robin Walker MP delivered the keynote talk, telling attendees: “I’m delighted to be at the Your Green Future event. It's a fantastic way of including young people to the green agenda and talking to young boys and girls about the opportunities that are going to be in the workplace in the future related to the green agenda.
“The University of Worcester do a really good job working with local businesses and schools to promote the green agenda, which is so important in making our planet a better place.
"I think it's a very valuable way of bringing together employers, businesses, community groups, the university and the schools and that mixture is very powerful to inspire the young people about the opportunities that are out there and the chances there are to study exciting things at the university that could lead them on to a very exciting career.”
Other speakers included Dean Attwell, Managing Director of Oakland International, and Justin Ratcliffe, of the Council for Aluminium in Buildings, while over 30 businesses and education providers gave school students support and advice with potential job, skill and qualification opportunities.
University sustainability student mentors supported the school children throughout the day, helping the younger students to understand how their study choices now will affect the careers they can enter later.
Students also took part in various workshops, such as working alongside local businesses including Evesham Vale Growers and Aramark to develop sustainable food products; debating and negotiating and Climate Action Plan for Worcestershire; and sitting on a ‘Dragons’ Den’ style panel to decide whether to ‘invest’ in cutting edge innovations presented to them by business representatives.
The event was delivered by Severn Wye Energy Agency, a non-profit company and registered educational charity, and the University of Worcester. The University’s Director of Environmental Sustainability, Katy Boom, was delighted with how the event unfolded.
“Through interactive events, Your Green Future inspires school students with the employment opportunities available to them within the low carbon economy,” she said.
“It is really pleasing to see University sustainability student mentors and staff working with industry professionals in supported workshops making the link between the classroom and career opportunities. Our collaborations are ensuring we work to develop a sustainable future, a real strength which we know is the envy of many.”
One of the schools in attendance was Nunnery Wood High School, and their Eco Co-ordinator and Geography teacher, Eleanor Longthorne, said: “I’ve enjoyed coming into this space, it's a fantastic space to get the students into.
“The workshop the students enjoyed most was the fashion and food futures, getting the chance to be imaginative about their fashion and food and the things that might happen in their lives in the future."
“It’s extremely inspiring for our younger students to have the opportunity to be around older educated students. To think about their futures, to think that they could go to university, that they might have the opportunity to take their education further.”
The event was supported by Rotary, the STEM Ambassador programme, Worcestershire County Council and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. For more information, visit www.yourgreenfuture.org.uk.