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Workforce of the future tackles net zero ideas

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By Fiona Reid
Workforce of the future tackles net zero ideas

YOUNG employees in businesses across Dumfries and Galloway have completed a skills development programme focussed on net zero solutions.

Over the last four months, teams of 16 to 25 year olds made up of apprentices, graduates and young people have been taking part in the Fuel Change Challenge programme, sponsored by South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE).

They have been working on creating solutions to real sustainability challenges set by industry, culminating in a showcase event in Dumfries last month to determine whether their solutions and ideas can be turned into a practical reality for businesses in the South of Scotland.

The five challenges were:

Logistics (set by BSW timber)

Housing and communities (set by CSY Architects)

Food and farming (set by Food from Farming)

The energy transition (set by Natural Power)

Fashion and textiles (set by Alex Begg, and Scott & Charters)

Martin Valenti, director of net zero, nature and entrepreneurship at SOSE, said: “It was great to see businesses, organisations and young people across the South of Scotland work closely together in recent months on the Fuel Change Challenge, coming up with innovative ideas on how we can decarbonise various industries.

“We want the South to lead the way and help Scotland reach the goal of becoming Net Zero by 2045. To do so, we need today’s young people to be given the chance to develop their skills and influence the Net Zero agenda, which this programme has successfully managed to do.”

Jen Tempany, from Fuel Change, added: “Having founded Fuel Change in 2020, we have already worked with over 2000 participants and established partnerships with 150 organisations to solve decarbonisation challenges and unleash talent within the next generation.

“It is the organisations that are investing in their employees and creatively tackling sustainability issues that are going to have the most success in years to come.

“That is why Fuel Change, and our industry partners, are calling on every UK business – big or small – to engage with our programmes.”

Pictured above: Alex Jardine (Alpha Solway), Aaron Miller (Morrison Construction) and Martin Valenti (SOSE) at the Fuel Change event in Dumfries