'Heather the weather' goes green 031


By Karrie Gillett

YOUNG people are being urged to go green when considering which career path they choose to take in life.

A new initiative is encouraging job seekers to look in the environmental sector – with more staff needed to respond to the fight against climate change.

And the campaign was backed by TV’s Heather Reid – who landed a job as a BBC weathergirl after finishing her degree in physics.

Yesterday, speaking outside Holyrood, ‘Heather the weather’ said she got involved in the Careers Scotland drive because of the relationship between weather and climate change.

She said: “Weather is obviously so closely linked to the environment and I have always been interested in how our weather is going to change over the next couple of decades because of global warming.

“Young people are the next generation and they are going to solve some of the problems that we have created.

“Hopefully this initiative is going to widen that and build on those opportunities that we already have.”

Jobs that are being offered for green-minded youngsters include turbine engineers for wind farms, to traditional jobs like plumbers.

Alex Blackwood, head of key labour market services at Careers Scotland said some tradesmen would need a new type of skill-set to match the renewable fuels that will be burning in the future.

He said: “We’re launching the initiative because we estimate that there will be a further 50,000 jobs in this area within the next ten years and we need people to fill these jobs.

“At the same time, it’s about a government policy to make a difference to our carbon footprints. 

“We need people to work in these areas so that we can make a difference.”

The campaign is being called The Path is Green (tp:g) and aims to highlight the 80,000 jobs already available in Scotland in industries such as recycling and conservation.

And the crusade is going online with advertising across social networking sites to let young people know what qualification they will need before getting involved.

Speaking at the launch, a 25-year-old mechanical engineer revealed the challenges involved in generating renewable electricity from ocean waves.

Ros Hart – who works for Pelamis Wave Power – said: “It’s good to be involved in something that is making a difference and changing the world for the better.

“In my job, I’ve also been lucky enough to work in other countries. Wave power is a brand new area of engineering and every day there are new problems to solve.”

The scheme launched by Careers Scotland – part of the new Skills Development Scotland Organisation – was backed by Enterprise Minister Jim Mather.

He said: “The global challenge to tackle climate change brings many opportunities for rewarding careers.

 “Our huge renewable potential means Scotland will be at the forefront of the green energy revolution, bringing tremendous opportunities for people to work in this high profile industry

 “Working in renewables will not only give you an exciting and varied career, you’ll be helping our economic recovery and helping to save the planet.”