Politicians and VIPs back Fuel Change Showcase

Top Scottish politicians and the CEO of a fuel poverty charity, have sent messages of support to the apprentices gearing up to present their low carbon solution ideas at the Fuel Change Challenge National Showcase event on Wednesday 3 March.

The online event – which will take place during Scottish Apprenticeship Week (1-5 March) – will unveil the low carbon concepts that will be adopted by employers from a long list of 20 teams, who made it through to the final Sprint 3 stage of the challenge from an original entry field of 38 teams.

Keynote speaker on the night will be Sacha Dench www.sachadench.com  – an Australian biologist, conservationist, UN Ambassador and adventurer who has embraced her ‘Human Swan‘ nickname, after she followed a black swan on a paraglider across 11 countries and 7,000km on a migration survey – and MC for the evening will be BBC presenter Amy Irons. But the real stars of the event will be the apprentices.

Scottish Government Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “This MA showcase demonstrates the key role apprentices play in not only transforming industry as part of our efforts to reach net-zero by 2045, but supporting our wider economic recovery from the pandemic.

“We know that young people have been some of the hardest hit by the impact of COVID-19 on our economy. Through our Young Person’s Guarantee and our additional investment of £25 million for apprentices in direct response to the pandemic, we will continue to do all we can to ensure this generation receive the support they need to succeed as we work to rebuild a fairer, stronger, and greener Scotland.”

Lorna Slater is Co-leader of the Scottish Green Party, said: “I am an Engineering Project Manager at Orbital Marine power, and have first-hand experience of how green industries can benefit Scotland and how we can lead the way in a just transition away from oil and gas. I am very proud to see how our next generation of industry professionals are leading the way with exciting new low carbon solutions in the Fuel Change Programme.

“Now is a great time to be talking about the jobs of the future and the changes we need to our country to reach net zero carbon. I want to see the most effective and practical changes implemented as quickly as possible and these are: Reducing emissions from transportation, Warm Homes for everyone, Significantly increasing our investment in renewable energy, and finally, empowering communities to be able to make progress and be able to build their own renewable energy schemes and keep the profits from these allowing them to be able to buy land for re-wilding and other carbon sink and bio-diversity schemes.

“All of these and so much more, like sustainable agriculture and forestry, are the green jobs of the future. The future can be brilliant, if we decide to make it so. The Fuel Change Challenge is a great opportunity for Modern Apprentices to help transform their industries and is a great step in the right direction. I wish them all well at their showcase on Wednesday night and look forward to seeing some of their low carbon ideas making it all the way to completion.”

Frazer Scott, CEO, Energy Action Scotland, said: “Scotland faces a huge challenge in meeting its NetZero Ambitions. A skilled workforce is essential to delivering new technologies to homes and businesses. Energy Action Scotland aims to eradicate fuel poverty which affects over 25% of households in Scotland. We can make real progress in addressing this in a fairer way by delivering energy efficiency measures, renewables and smart management solutions. The Fuel Change Challenge is an excellent showcase for that brighter, greener and fairer future and it puts education at the heart of it. A brilliant initiative.”

Established to provide a unique platform for our next generation to create a low carbon future, Fuel Change – who are funded by Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council – hope to attract a large online audience for the showcase.

The Fuel Change Programme has proved to be so successful that organisers are already being approached by new teams of MAs and FAs and their employers – from all industries across Scotland, not just construction and engineering – to register their interest for this year’s challenge. Register your interest at www.fuelchange.co.uk

The main aim of the project is to hit the target of a low carbon Scotland and create real, practical solutions which can not only be implemented by the partner companies, but potentially be implemented across the world and make a real difference to climate change. Another aim of the project now includes the subsequent identification of new skills and jobs for the future, which will be needed as a result of the new initiatives that are implemented by industry.

Five major companies initially supported the initiative including: Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), BAM Nuttall, Scottish Power Energy Networks, National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS), and Spirit Aerosystems and all have submitted challenges to work on.

Challenges are focused around barriers to a low carbon economy or opportunities to create a product or service, which could develop a low carbon market offering.

Click here https://fuel-change-national-showcase.eventbrite.co.uk/ to register for the virtual event.