Framing careers of the future

Imagining the future role of Planetary Activist in the pilot workshop. Photo Bridget McKenzie

ALL future roles will need to respond in some way to the Earth crisis, so all jobs will be ‘green jobs’, whether in emergency services, or coping with more zoonotic pandemics, or helping displaced people with temporary housing. All lives will be affected by the economic, health and social impacts of the crisis, so it is important for young people to anticipate this in planning their futures. Supporting them in this will be challenging work, and now the responsibility for careers education falls on schools, adding to burdens on teachers.

Some young people will already be looking for routes that allow them to live ethically and creatively, in ‘right livelihood’, rather than contributing to what they see as a harmful system. However, roles in public, environmental, educational and charitable services are undervalued, as evidenced by waves of strikes in the UK. When industries such as fossil fuel energy are making record profits they have spare billions to promote careers with their companies. More positively, there are already many opportunities for training and work in restoring nature, in regenerative agriculture, in plant-based catering, in renewable technologies and sustainable construction, and transitioning to a greener economy. 

Here are some initiatives developing green futures opportunities:

  • Black2Nature – camps for Visible Minority Ethnic young people to experience work and learning with nature and the environment.
  • CIWEM runs training courses
  • Greenworkx – a jobs & training site for job seekers and employers, for green jobs
  • Green Jobs for Nature
  • Green Careers Hub – a space for users to access resources and careers information, in development. Job profiles, case studies, opportunities, course information, profiles of companies and best practices. Led by IEMA, Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment.
  • GreenGrads – a group of recent graduates of green courses with lots of ideas
  • Green Influencers, a project of Students Organising for Sustainability 
  • London Wildlife Trust offers paid traineeships and training, and Wild Youth Hub
  • Low Impact – a huge resource bank of ideas for sustainable living that could inspire enterprises
  • New to Nature: 70 young people aged 18-25 will be given new, full-time, temporary work placements in nature and landscape organisations across the UK, increasing diversity and enriching the sector. Runs up to 2024, and led by Groundwork, Princes Trust, Youth Environmental Service et al.
  • New Young Leaders in Sustainability – course for young black people
  • Restless Development: global programme for young people to decolonise development (e.g. youth power network, 70% of whom prioritise climate justice)
  • Race4Nature – 100 placements for young people from diverse backgrounds into environmental organisations.
  • The Resilience Project: Training youth leaders through resilience circles.
  • Restorative Justice Working
  • The Runnymede Trust, supporting inclusive transition to a green economy. Green Skills programme of 90 placements.
  • Youth Environmental Service: a new programme, creating opportunities for young people from across the UK to spend a year working in paid, nature-based projects where they can build new skills, make new connections, and save the environment, all at the same time.

For activities that support this topic, look at Imagine Future Roles and My Future with Ikigai.