British Gas plans to create 1,000 "green" jobs over the next three years for unemployed youngsters

British gas unveils 1 000 'green' jobs for unemployed

British Gas has unveiled plans to create 1,000 "green" jobs over the next three years for young, unemployed people.

The energy giant has teamed up with environmental charity Global Action Plan and consultancy Accenture to provide free training to more than 1,400 young people not currently in education, employment or training.

Each person who completes the five-day course is guaranteed an interview with the energy supplier, where it is anticipated 1,000 under-25s will go on to get jobs with the company.

The new roles will be designed to help install energy-saving measures within some of the UK’s hardest pressed homes via hundreds of community projects.

The project, dubbed Transform, comes in response to the UK's continuing youth unemployment crisis, with almost one million 16 to 24-year-olds out of education, employment or training, British Gas said.

Claire Williams, managing director of British Gas's new energy division, said: "Growth, unemployment and sustainability are big challenges for the country. Big British companies have a responsibility to make a positive contribution which is why we are taking action to create skilled green jobs in areas of low employment.

"This training will make a difference to unemployed young people who will get skills and jobs as well as hard-pressed households who will benefit from energy efficiency measures."

Under the partnership, Global Action Plan will provide training to 17 to 25-year-olds on Jobseekers' Allowance who, if successful, will gain a Btec qualification in sustainability.

The Transform project, which is backed by Jobcentre Plus, was piloted in Walsall and Glasgow last year, where 17 new British Gas jobs were filled by graduates from the course.

The new employees are now working as tenant liaison and community engagement officers, helping provide people in their local areas with advice on how to tackle fuel poverty and take advantage of energy efficiency improvements.

Gary Smith, national secretary for energy for union GMB, said "This is very welcome news – British Gas has hundreds of millions of pounds to spend on improving energy efficiency in homes as part of government obligated schemes like Energy Company Obligation (ECO).

“Local authorities have been slow to tap into this money at a time they are supposed to be cash strapped. By tapping into ECO funding jobs can be created while customer’s bills are cut.

"The new jobs are designed to help British Gas meet the Energy Company Obligation, which came into effect last month. Under it energy companies provide efficiency technology and home improvements to low-income households and those considered to be at risk of fuel poverty. These young workers will work on this, which is good for them, good for energy bills and good for the environment. ”

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