Solutions for the Planet is pleased to announce that from November 2019, the north of England’s gas distributor, Northern Gas Networks (NGN), will be joining our community of schools and businesses in Yorkshire and the North East in promoting education for sustainable development, social enterprise, and science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers for young people.
Employees from NGN will be supporting six schools in Yorkshire and two schools in the North East alongside other business partners, reaching 1,150 11-14-year-olds across the region.
Melanie Taylor, Head of Stakeholder Relations at Northern Gas Networks was a judge at last year’s Big Ideas Competition National Final, and said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Solutions for the Planet on its Big Ideas programme, teaching young people the vital skills needed to succeed in future employment within the energy sector. Here at NGN, we are extremely passionate about tackling the UK skills gap in STEM and sustainability, and we are committed to helping develop the confidence and creativity of individuals in these areas.”
NGN employees have been invited to join the programme as business mentors, which is a great opportunity for them to enhance their own personal development as well as working with many creative young minds.
The Q&A for NGN mentors, attended by Claire Fitton (our Programme Manager for North England and Scotland) on 11th November at The Vinery Centre was a fantastic first introduction. The afternoon kicked off with a brief outline of the Big Ideas programme to staff from across Yorkshire and colleagues dialling in from the North East. With questions ranging from how schools are identified to what commitments are expected from the mentors, the session was a great success and we are looking forward to meeting those who wish to sign up to the Big Ideas programme as mentors (apparently 20 so far!) at the training session on 29th November.
Melanie continues: “Employing and developing talent is vital for a strong economy and to ensure that a business is equipped with the skills it needs for the future. Initiatives such as the Big Ideas programme help to raise young people’s career and work aspirations through experiencing real-world business challenges and develop their employability skills. In turn businesses can build a powerful workforce by creating a pipeline of future talent and positioning themselves as an employer of choice in their communities.”
Solutions for the Planet CEO Jen Baughan added, “We are delighted to welcome NGN as a partner in our North England region. It was clear from our conversations with NGN that the voice of young people is very important in their business, particularly, but not exclusively, with regards to the future energy mix and sustainability. We look forward to working with the NGN team and are confident that they will both bring a lot of knowledge and take a lot of inspiration and new skills away from their involvement.”
The Big Ideas programme in North England is now underway and will conclude with regional finals in May before the National Final in late June in London.