British Gas has committed to helping create job opportunities for the young and unemployed over the next three years as part of a new partnership with Accenture and environment charity Global Action Plan.
Through the 'Transform' partnership, the company hopes to combat the sharp rise in youth unemployment that resulted from the recession, with over one million 16 to 24 year-olds now not in education, employment or training.
With support from Jobcentre Plus, the company will provide 1,400 17 to 25 year olds with free training in sustainability, supported by Accenture, and a guaranteed interview with British Gas for those that complete the programme.
If an interview candidate is successful, they will be offered one of the 1,000 jobs specially created within British Gas to help UK households become more energy efficient.
Olly Benzecry, senior managing director of Accenture in the UK and Ireland said: "We are proud to be involved with Transform, not only because it is helping to create employment but also because of its focus on providing sustainability training and green job opportunities."
The new roles will be designed to help install energy-saving measures within some of the UK's hardest pressed homes via hundreds of community projects; helping to cut energy bills and save millions of tonnes of carbon. Global Action Plan will help to target young unemployed people within the local community and deliver the BTEC training.
GMB, the union for workers in the gas industry, welcomed the news. Gary Smith, GMB national secretary for energy, said: "By tapping into Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding, jobs can be created while customer's bills are cut.
The new jobs are designed to help British Gas meet the ECO, which came into effect last month. Under it energy companies provide efficiency technology and home improvements to low-income households and those considered to be at risk of fuel poverty. These young workers will work on this, which is good for them, good for energy bills and good for the environment. "
Claire Williams, managing director of British Gas New Energy said: "Growth, unemployment and sustainability are big challenges for the country. Big British companies have a responsibility to make a positive contribution, which is why we are taking action to create skilled green jobs in areas of low employment. This training will make a difference to unemployed young people who will get skills and jobs as well as hard-pressed households who will benefit from energy efficiency measures."
For more information, and to apply for the training, please visit www.globalactionplan.org.uk/transform