How two young people found a green job at Good Energy

Posted in: Eco-friendly

Posted on: 26.08.2020

Our recent research shows that half of young people want a job in the green economy, and the majority want to work for an environmentally friendly business.

The research was conducted for Earth Overshoot Day, the day that humanity has officially used more resources from the planet than the earth can regenerate in a year. 

We marked the date by working with youth climate activists and musicians Orchestra for the Earth, who performed Mozart's Serenade No. 10 for winds at our wind farm in Delabole, which was the UK's first commercial wind farm. 

Calling to #MoveTheDate, the research we conducted shed a light on young people's enthusiasm to find jobs that help protect the planet. 

To illusrtate this further, we spoke to two young people who recently started green jobs, working for Good Energy. 

Here's what they told us. 

Rhiannon Barriball, Clean Energy Specialist

Rhiannon Barriball joined Good Energy as a Clean Energy Specialist during the COVID-19 lockdown, in July 2020. Born in Cornwall, Rhiannon is currently based in Dorset and working for the Chippenham based renewable energy company remotely.

What did you study at university?

I did an undergraduate degree in Geography at Swansea University, graduating in 2019, and am just finishing my masters in Sustainability from the University of Southampton.  

How did you develop an interest in sustainability?

I’ve always liked geography. When I was four or five I had a monthly rock subscription. I loved it at school and when it came to deciding what to study at uni I didn’t even think about any other courses, I just gravitated towards that. Then in terms of specializing in sustainability, I like all of geography but particularly the sustainability part of it. So learning about sustainability and how to protect our planet was just something I always knew I was going to do.

What kind of things did you study in your sustainability masters?

It was a lot about how to cope with sustainability issues. We did lots of work on sustainable consultancy and frameworks, things like the circular economy and green economy. Rather than be about the issues themselves it was focused on how we could cope with them.

What appealed to you about working for an environmentally sustainable business?  

I wanted to work for a business that has the same values and same goals as I do. I wouldn’t feel happy working for a company that goes against sustainability and is far from green, and nowadays it’s quite hard to trust a lot of companies. In order to be successful you need to be green, sustainable and ethical.

If I had a choice of working for two companies that did the same thing but one made an effort not to cause damage to the environment then why wouldn’t I choose to work for them?

It’s something I’m really proud of to say that I work for a company that considers its environmental impact and works to improve it. 

How has the experience of starting a new job under lockdown been?

It’s been very different, unlike anything I’ve experienced before. But then this is my first ‘career’ job so I don’t necessarily know any different, but being interviewed in my house and then doing three weeks’ worth of training all via video call, not actually meeting anyone in person but being on camera with people is very strange. My team have still managed to bond and form friendships though so it’s been weird but good.

If I had a choice of working for two companies that did the same thing but one made an effort not to cause damage to the environment then why wouldn’t I choose to work for them?

- Rhiannon, Clean Energy Specialist

If you want to be more environmentally friendly, making it part of your daily route is an easy way to achieve that. And working for a place that does that is environmentally friendly automatically makes it even easier for you.

- Heidi, Clean Energy Specialist

Heidi Tanner, Clean Energy Specialist

Heidi Tanner joined Good Energy as a Clean Energy Specialist just before the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, in March 2020. From the south coast near Bournemouth, Heidi is currently working for the renewable energy company remotely.

What did you study at university?

I studied French, Spanish and Italian at Sheffield University with a year abroad.  

How did you develop an interest in sustainability?

I feel like I have always had an underlying interest in sustainability as part of who I am. I haven’t had a ‘wake up call’ as such but protecting the planet, both on a national and a local level has always been important to me.

What appealed to you about working for an environmentally sustainable business?

When I was looking for jobs I wanted to work for somewhere whose morals matched my own. I was looking at jobs in charities as well. I think if you want to be more environmentally friendly, making it part of your daily route is an easy way to achieve that. And working for a place that does that is environmentally friendly automatically makes it even easier for you. Because you’re turning up to work as you would normally but your daily work helps achieve what you want to in protecting the planet.

How has the experience of starting a new job under lockdown been?

I had one day in the office before everyone went home to work remotely! It has been a challenge, but Good Energy have been really good as an employer in that they have tried to support us as much as they can. I quite enjoy working from home. People can get on with their normal lives more, you’re at home with your family or your partner all day. While other relationships have been more distant the relationships with the people you live with are stronger.

When I started I did three weeks of training, all via video call, which was quite draining. But the team of eight that I did that with all formed a good bond and we chat every day so that has been nice.

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