New Prince’s Trust research reveals young people want to be part of a green economy

The Prince’s Trust team in Scotland talk us through their latest global research, which shows the majority of young people believe their generation can find a solution to the climate emergency.

Young people are facing one of the most turbulent times in living memory. The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted their lives, their education, and their career aspirations; and they are facing significant changes to the world of work due to technological, demographic and climate change.

The Prince’s Trust has launched initial findings from research into the ‘Future of Work’ at an event attended by President, HRH The Prince of Wales and international business leaders. The discussion, which built on the work of his Terra Carta initiative, called for efforts from employers to support young people into sustainable careers in emerging industries, such as green and digital, that can contribute to net zero ambitions

Polling by YouGov of 6,073 young people aged 18-to-35 in Canada, Ghana, India, Pakistan, the UK, and US shows:

  • 78% of young people believe their generation can create solutions to some of society and the world’s biggest challenges
  • 74% would be interested in a green job which helps tackle climate change, despite only 3% having their main job in the sector
  • 71% would be interested in a job in the digital economy which is seen as providing the most opportunities for young people across a range of sectors
  • 81% would consider whether the job has a positive impact on the community and wider world
  • 77% would consider the environmental impact of the company or sector when choosing a job
  • Working in the green economy (45%) and health and social care (43%) are seen as the most likely ways to have a positive impact on the community / wider world

The Trust is providing effective and innovative approaches to create and improve youth employment in green sectors. Working with a wide range of partners, including a recent initiative with National Grid’s Grid for Good, The Trust has added employability modules relating to green jobs to its Get Into programmes and developed a Kickstart sustainability module which will feature in all UK wide delivery.

Louise Goodlad, Senior Head of Partnerships, The Prince’s Trust Scotland reflects on the findings and the need to act now to secure a vibrant green economy for young people:   

“This research highlights the optimism that young people have about their generation and role they want to play in devoting their careers to tackling the biggest issues facing the planet. It is therefore vital that we work with business leaders to provide more sustainable careers for our next generation.

“Long term changes to the labour market predict that young people’s future employment opportunities will reduce unless we adapt and act quickly. We know that sectors that have traditionally offered secure jobs to young people such as retail are struggling, and will continue to do so, and the disappearance of these jobs presents a real risk to social mobility.

“However, the rapidly growing green economy does provide a new opportunity. Through awareness-raising, skills development, providing job outcomes, and changing ways of working, The Prince's Trust is committed to ensuring young people are equipped to embrace the changes that are coming.

“We want to raise awareness of the green economy throughout our programmes, not just within our employability courses. We’re looking to refocus our education work to include a greater emphasis of future careers in this sector and we have developed new learning components about ethical and sustainable business in our Enterprise Challenge. Additionally, for our young entrepreneurs we will prepare them to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by the expanding green supply chain.

“Ultimately, we know that the climate emergency will mostly harm young people, therefore tackling both the jobs and climate emergencies together is a win-win.”


T @PrincesTrustSco


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