To prevent catastrophic climate change and irreversible biodiversity loss, the UK Government has focused on the creation of new jobs aiming at unleashing net zero economic recovery in the next decade. However, skill gaps remain a major barrier and access is not equal.
The Sustainable Futures Programme addresses the urgent need to prepare young people between the ages of 14-18 for the future job market – not the past. The programme provides ‘sustainability skills’ training and mentoring for young people, teachers and career leaders in all schools across the UK. It also provides young people with access to business leaders for role-modelling and real-world context.
Unique partnership seed funded by EET
The Programme has been created through a unique partnership between WWF-UK, Villiers Park Educational Trust and Founders4Schools. The initial support and vision of EET in recognising the potential power of a collaboration between the three organisations sits at the heart of the Sustainable Futures Programme.
Each of the charities in the partnership have seen a tangible contribution to accelerating their strategies and increasing their profile with new audiences, including new prospect funders. For F4S, EET has funded essential engineering resources to design and implement a brand-new Sustainability Encounter and increase team resources. Villiers Park has designed and delivered a brand-new Conservation course to diversify their portfolio of courses. WWF has sharpened and strengthened its overarching strategy for youth and education, putting careers as a core pillar of their cross-organisation youth engagement strategy.
Preparing for the future
The Programme includes the design and annual delivery of two new subject-specific Nature and Life Sciences courses:
- Ecology and Evolution – exploring the fundamentals of ecology and evolution and understanding how combining knowledge of both areas is vital for managing environmental change for a sustainable future
- Conservation for a Sustainable Future – exploring issues relating to biodiversity loss and conservation solutions, using case studies to understand real-world applications
Both courses are designed to run online, blending live sessions with self-directed units and practical project work, including a Sustainability Encounter.
“In supporting the Sustainable Futures Programme, EET have helped to leverage a unique partnership between WWF, Villiers Park and Founders4Schools that will enable us to embed sustainability in education and career guidance across the UK and also support the urgent transition to a green economy.”
Rosalind Mist, Director of Education and Youth Engagement, WWF-UK
Every career can be green
The Programme has been designed under a shared vision between the three organisations and EET that all young people in the UK are equipped to drive and thrive in a future green economy in which the UK can meet its ambitious biodiversity loss and climate change targets.
The Programme will empower and support career development professionals, teachers and employers to support 14–18-year-olds at a time when they are making important decisions affecting their – and our – future.
The Sustainable Futures Programme is piloted with schools in 2022 and will be launching nationwide by the end of the 2022-23 academic year.