Our Education & Training Manager Jules Dunlop reflects on an inspiring journey that will lead to green jobs for six young people – with your help
Over the past few months I’ve been on an inspiring journey with the first wonderful cohort of our Voyage to Repower course, which supports young people into work in the green industries. From collaborating with our delivery partner Voyage Youth to develop their personal development skills, to involving industry experts to deliver workshops, and enjoying speakers from green organisations who shared their passion for a sustainable future – it has been great to see the design and planning we put into the course come to fruition in an impactful way.
What is Voyage to Repower?
Created for young people aged 18-24 who are not in education, employment or training, Voyage to Repower is a 15-week, part-time course that builds personal development and employability skills, and introduces participants to the wide range of opportunities in the green energy sector. The group is purposefully small, ensuring the young people receive sufficient one-to-one support.
Each participant in this first course took part in in-depth exploration sessions covering retrofit, solar panels, IT and coding for community projects, Adobe Photoshop, communications and social media, heating and plumbing, and finance (grassroots and corporate). In addition, they enjoyed sustainability inspirations sessions, including workshops in Doughnut Economics, community energy and climate activism. Visits to creative, sustainable projects like Yes Make, Are you Mad and Woodfield showed them exciting ways to reuse ‘waste’ products and promote a circular economy.
“The course aims to change the lives of young people across the capital and build a more diverse, resilient green energy sector”
By supporting unemployed young people to gain long-term employment, Voyage to Repower builds individual and community resilience, as well as supporting the UK’s journey to net zero. The course aims to change the lives of young people across the capital and build a more diverse, resilient green energy sector. Our first course has worked with six young people from Lambeth, all committed to trying out a new experience, developing themselves to be employment ready and enhancing their knowledge of roles within green energy. Boosted by the personal development skills training delivered by Rene Manradge from Voyage Youth, we were pleased to watch how they became a positive, cohesive and focused group.
What do the participants say?
Djamel, a computer science graduate and aspiring data analyst, found the personal development workshops the most useful: ‘Because they helped me be more thoughtful and aware of myself and others.’
Haezle, an accountancy graduate, really valued the personal development and employability section: “I felt lost about finding a job, but now I am confident and have been given good materials and knowledge to help me.”
Rex, who has a BTEC in graphic design, is looking for work within digital media and highlighted the Adobe Photoshop workshop: “I was able to improve my skills and overall, the course has boosted my confidence. I am more confident in applying for jobs.”
Dean, who has a BTEC in computer science, is searching for any role in IT to launch his career. He shared with us that his future ambitions have changed as a result of taking part: “I have developed an interest in using my tech skills towards aiding the sustainability sector.”
Andre, a Level 2 plumber looking to transfer into solar panel or ground source heat pump installation, found the time with Genius Energy Lab the most rewarding: “The session gave me a deeper understanding of the workings of and installation processes for heat pumps.”
Anna, a software developer, reported that the programme has increased her confidence: “I feel more able to reach out to people both personally and professionally, my awareness of climate issues has grown and I am much more considerate of my potential impact … I have learned more about myself and how to grow, I feel more a part of the local community”.
You can keep their journey going
The next step for all of these young people: to be settled into the jobs that will continue their journey. Not only are they now employment ready, but they will also be supported by mentors for one year as they move forward, thanks to our partner SDCL Group.
Here’s where you can help. If you have ideas, connections, or potential job opportunities for any of our ‘Voyagers’ – please get in touch and I would be happy to share their CVs. Email Julia.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07534 509382.