Cllr Frank McAveety wants to unlock the Dear Green Place’s massive potential by matching the talents of the city’s young people with the skills needed by Glasgow’s fast growing green businesses.
Key to this green evolution will be the promotion of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects, he told an audience of S2 and S3 pupils attending Glasgow’s annual Green Jobs Fair on 15 September 2015.
Speaking at the employability event held at the city’s Science Centre, Cllr McAveety said Glasgow was proud it was already home to the largest number of renewables jobs in Scotland.
But it was vital to “maintain this momentum” of growing local green businesses by encouraging Glasgow’s secondary school pupils to follow a career path to take up the new and future jobs being created in this sector.
He said: “Glasgow is home to innovative and entrepreneurial people and the green touch paper has truly now been lit to ignite a more sustainable city economy.
“We know that we need skilled people to maintain this momentum. Employers need to be confident that when they locate in Glasgow they are coming to a city with huge ambitions and a pool of talented people to help them grow.
“Our young people are key to that, so the Green Jobs Fair is a major part of a broader approach to developing a skills pipeline in support of green jobs growth for the city.
“We want to develop a ‘green print’ for a more sustainable economy and to help our young people to get decently paid jobs with good future career prospects. Indeed, we look to create nothing less than a re-industrialisation of Glasgow through the low carbon and digital sectors.”
More than 400 S2 and S3 pupils from all over Glasgow took part in the 2015 Green Jobs Fair which focused on Green jobs and STEM careers.
The purpose of the event is to make pupils aware of the many opportunities now available in these sectors in Glasgow, demystify what they are and to plant the seed for considering career/further pathways.
The age group was specifically selected as they are yet to take their subject options, and early intervention will have a greater impact.
The move to a Low Carbon economy is one of the key areas for growth in Glasgow and Scotland. The Economic Commission has recognised the importance of the sector for Glasgow and recommended that the city should work towards becoming a global low-carbon hub. Through the Sustainable Glasgow partnership, the city is developing a strategy to develop the skills pipeline for our young people in order that they are equipped with the right skills and knowledge to access these career paths.
Young people were able to engage with potential employers such as ScottishPower, Viridor and Interserve and higher education institutions including University of Strathclyde, Glasgow Kelvin College and the City of Glasgow College.
2015 is Glasgow’s designated Green Year. During the year there are 12 themes across 12 months and dozens of activities to engage in. September’s theme is ‘Growing a green economy’, so it’s all the more appropriate that this year is the first in which the Green Jobs Fair is established on an annual basis.
The Green Jobs Fair event does not take place in isolation. Sustainable Glasgow is actively supporting the recommendation of the city’s Economic Commission for a greater focus on skills development in the engineering and allied green business sector. The Council is working on a Green Jobs Strategy for the city, which will be a major element of the forthcoming new economic strategy for Glasgow.
Cllr McAveety said: “This year also commemorates the 250th anniversary of James Watt conceiving of the separate condenser to the steam engine as he walked on Glasgow Green. This was perhaps the single most significant act in the powering of the Industrial Revolution.
“The ripples from Glasgow’s transformation lapped the shores of the whole world. This city made history on a grand scale. And once again, this city is transforming itself – from the carbon-belching centre of a global economic revolution to the low carbon smart city of a new, greener future. Right now in 2015 we want to nurture talent in our boys and girls as future engineers: the James Watts and Jane Watts of tomorrow!”