Molly Scott Cato writes:
With 20% of our young people out of work and the overall level of unemployment rising to 2.5 million it is easy for people leaving school or college to feel very anxious about how they are going to make a contribution to society, not to mention earning a living. Even if you can find a job are you worried about how you will be treated, or whether you will be able to do something you feel proud of? We hear a lot about the ‘green economy’, but what does it mean for jobs for people in Stroud?
The Green Economy needs lots of people like you, to do worthwhile interesting work that also means we will be able to live better without damaging the planet. What sort of jobs might these be? At the more adventurous end you might find yourself climbing onto somebody's roof to install a solar panel. If you are good with your hands you might become trained to work mending electric cars or the computer of the future, that will have recyclable components. Or perhaps you can set up your own recycling business turning waste into building materials.
If you like the outdoor life you could think about a future in forestry or food production. We know that climate change means we will be growing more of our food locally, and this offers real opportunities for skilled employment. Care for the environment and for animals is very high amongst young people and for health reasons people are eating more vegetables and less meat. Eating less meat is also good for the planet because producing meat uses a lot of energy. In a rural area like Stroud expanding the food economy could create jobs for thousands of young people.
We all know that climate change means we have to use less energy but the other side of this is that we will need more people. So we need you to become a part of the green economy, which can offer you a high-skilled job with self-respect and security. Stroud District Council has set aside money in its budget to support these green sectors as part of our commitment to supporting green jobs in the Five Valleys.