Achieving energy sector goals through green apprenticeships

Recruiting future talent - can apprenticeship opportunities help achieve energy goals in the energy and utilities sector?
Published 27 March 2024

Sustainable solutions: Achieving energy goals through green apprenticeships

As urgent calls to accelerate action towards achieving net zero surrounded December’s COP28, now more than ever, countries across the globe are committing to developing renewable and green energy solutions – and the UK is no exception.

Climate anxiety is rising amongst young people, and the need for apprenticeships that prioritise people and planet is plain to see. 

Research by British Gas found that 71% of 15–25 year olds want a career that won’t have a negative impact on the planet, and 94% of those young people want to help protect the future of our natural environment, with 72% finding the idea of a job that helped people to live their lives more sustainably appealing. A further 55% stated that learning about the climate crisis at school had encouraged them to consider a green career. 

It’s clear that building a green energy focused workforce is integral to the UK reaching its net zero goals. So, how can we help the future of our planet and young people, whilst motivating and supporting students on their career journey in the energy and utilities sector?


Key issues facing the energy sector

With firms under mounting pressure to meet climate targets, employers are looking to train a new generation of green experts in a range of roles – from maintenance and management to processing and engineering. 

With the UK’s energy needs expected to double by 2050, the Autumn Statement announced £90 billion of investment to boost energy security over the next decade. And, whilst the government predicts that an extra 480,000 jobs will be created in the renewables industry by 2030, the UK’s skilled workforce is shrinking. 

Firms across the sector need specialists in gas, electricity and water to lead the way in transitioning towards sustainable solutions like offshore wind, solar and bioenergy – but they’re finding a significant gap in green skills.

Closing the green skills gap requires the existing workforce to upskill, whilst bringing in and training the next generation of talent.


Motivating people to pursue apprenticeships in green energy


If you’re in the green energy sector, you need to ensure future apprentices are aware of the training opportunities on offer at your firm. 

Why not utilise new schemes like the Low Carbon Heating Technical apprenticeship or the Corporate Responsibility Sustainability Practitioner qualification to help your firm grow?

UCAS also offers employers the opportunity to create employer profilespost vacancies and run recruitment campaigns. With our unrivalled access to 1.5 million young people, you can promote your apprenticeship at the exact time they are considering their future options. 


According to research by E.ON Energy, 44% of school leavers aged between 16-18 years old believe a degree apprenticeship is the best path to starting a green career. If you want to harness the increasing number of students considering this route, it’s important to utilise the right communication channels to showcase the opportunities you have.

Our studies show that for apprentices of all ages, employer websites are the second most popular source for research (18%) below apprenticeship providers or colleges (22%). This means the resources on your website are a key opportunity to improve application rates, and so driving traffic to your website will be vital to ensuring visibility. If you need support in driving this traffic, talk to our team about designing a marketing campaign to do this. 

We also found that overall, the apprenticeship journey is less transparent and supported than its undergraduate equivalent; almost a third (31%) of students said it was “very easy” to access information about higher education compared to just 6% who said the same about apprenticeships.

So, ensuring your apprenticeship information is accessible is key. Whilst improving the information and user experience on your website may pique applicants’ interest, it’s also important to understand the preferred communication channels of your target audience. 

If you’re eager to understand the information that budding recruits need from you and how to communicate with a younger audience effectively – our new report, Project Next Generation, offers an insight into how 13–17 year olds shape their futures.

With more and more young people finding work through social media, it’s likely that your preferred candidates search for apprenticeship vacancies on platforms such as Instagram or LinkedIn.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that in a world reliant on engaging visuals and video content, creating posts that illustrate what applicants can expect from job roles may generate interest.


In a competitive and rapidly changing industry, it can be difficult to get noticed by the right candidates. Take the time to work with your marketing team to identify exactly who you want to target, what their goals are, how they consume information and what would influence them to apply for an apprenticeship.

UCAS works with organisations such as National Grid and Rolls-Royce to help them recruit apprentices. So, if you’re looking for a more targeted approach to recruitment and are ready to take on the next generation of planet positive pioneers, head to our employers page.

More insights from UCAS

Check out our latest blog posts, packed with useful information and insights from the experts, for employers looking to reach and connect with future talent.

Find out more