Celebrating Green Careers Week
8th November 2023
MCS is celebrating Green Careers Week, 6-11 November, to raise awareness of careers in renewable energy and heating. In pursuit of the UK’s Net Zero targets, green careers are in demand now more than ever. But what is a ‘green career’ and why should you consider one? We recently caught up with a few of our contractors to find out their thoughts, experiences, and advice on green careers. Let’s hear what they’ve got to say.
We first caught up with Emma Bohan, General Manager of South Yorkshire-based IMS Heat Pumps.
IMS Heat Pumps was founded more than 25 years ago in Perth, Scotland, and expanded by the group of family and friends to Sheffield, England. Since then, the business has grown to design, install, and maintain hundreds of heat pumps a year across England and Scotland.
We asked Emma to share her thoughts on green careers, demand across the heat pump sector, and why you should consider a green career today. According to Emma, a green career is any job which provides services across the renewable, sustainable and environmental sectors.
“There are the obvious green careers, such as a heat pump engineer, where you will be installing heat pump systems. However, at IMS Heat Pumps, we employ a range of project co-ordinators, finance, administration, and marketing people, as well as a team of qualified heat loss and system designers who form our sales team – all of which I consider green careers.” If you’re considering a green career, “run towards it”, says Emma, “you’ll not regret it!”
With the UK transitioning away from fossil fuels to renewables, Emma believes that the green careers landscape is an exciting space to work in. “Green careers are soon going to be everywhere – there is currently so much innovation going on and such a buzz around the industry”, she says. Although IMS Heat Pumps have been installing heat pumps for over 25 years, Emma says that they have seen a rapid surge in the demand for heat pumps since 2020. This reflects the demand for jobs across the heat pump and renewable industry as a whole.
MCS has recently helped develop the UK’s first ever dedicated Low Carbon Heating Technician Apprenticeship. Emma is a strong advocate for the apprenticeship and believes it is very much needed within the industry. “Heat pumps are a job for life – they are not going anywhere! Despite the naysayers, the end of the gas boiler is nigh!”, says Emma. Emma also told us that she would like to see the apprenticeship being offered across every trade college as soon as possible. The new apprenticeship is great pathway to a green career and reflects the current demand for green jobs across the sector.
Empowering women to power the green transition
According to statistics from the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), 72% of green jobs are held by men. When we asked Emma how we can get more women into the renewable sector, she said that we need to have more examples of women in trades in schools and colleges – “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it! We need to promote a general acceptance that this is not just a job for the boys!”
Next, we caught up with Nick Salini, Director of Thermal Earth Ltd.
Thermal Earth specialises in the design, supply, and installation of ground and air source heat pumps. They offer a range of solutions to customers, from small domestic systems up to large commercial systems.
According to Nick, a green career is one that contributes to environmental sustainability, conservation, and minimising the impact of climate change on the planet. When talking to Nick, it was clear that he was eager to promote the excitement, opportunities and longevity that green careers provide:
Green careers allow “students to align their professional ambitions with values of environmental responsibility, leading to fulfilling and impactful careers while helping combat climate change and preserve our planet for future generations. Additionally, green careers often offer growth opportunities in emerging industries, making them a wise choice for long-term job prospects.”
Nick also spoke to us about his own experience working in the green careers sector: “The work is not only intellectually stimulating, but it also offers the satisfaction of contributing to a sustainable future by harnessing clean energy sources and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. Knowing that my efforts have a positive impact on the environment is truly rewarding.”
According to Nick, “a career in renewable energy is a great choice!” It’s a rapidly growing and dynamic field that not only offers a chance to work on cutting-edge technologies but also allows you to make a meaningful contribution to a more sustainable future.
We next asked Nick’s thoughts on why someone should choose to be trained in installing heat pumps over gas boilers. “Heat pumps are more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, as they use renewable energy sources, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on finite fossil fuels. Moreover, with the growing emphasis on sustainability and the transition to greener technologies, professionals trained in heat pump installation are likely to have better job prospects.” We agree Nick, a green career is a career for life.
Speaking about the Low Carbon Heating Technician Apprenticeship, Nick said that the new apprenticeship reflects the current demand for green jobs and trained professionals for sustainable heating technologies. Nick believes that the apprenticeship will help build the skilled workforce that is needed to accelerate the adoption of renewable and energy-efficient heating systems, aligning with the UK’s climate goals and contributing to a greener future.
You can find out more about the Low Carbon Heating Technician Apprenticeship here
Next, we caught up with Claire Enstone, Director of Technical at Eco2Solar.
Eco2Solar installs solar PV technology across England and Scotland, specialising in new-build residential installations. They exclusively use in-roof solar PV products on pitched-roof homes and install ballasted systems on flat roofs so that apartment blocks can benefit from solar too.
According to Claire, a green career is one that actively tackles environmental issues and works towards a more sustainable future. Eco2Solar offer a range of green careers, from roles out in the field installing, to in the office designing, selling, and delivering. Claire considers all of these job roles as ‘green’, as it’s a collective effort across the business to meet their sustainable objectives.
Claire believes that pursuing a green career is an investment in your future. “You’re unlikely to ever be out of a job! The need for renewable energy will be continuous, and the fight against climate change has only just begun so there is lots of work to do.”
Claire says that Eco2Solar are continuously seeing an increase in the demand for domestic solar PV. “All of our work is tied to the new-build housing industry, so the recent changes in Building Regulations means that solar PV will need to be included on most homes built going forwards. This is a great step in the right direction, not just for us but for homeowners too as they will have the ability to generate their own green electricity for free!”
With the renewable industry as a whole being a male dominated sector, we asked Claire her thoughts on how we can get more women into green careers. “We have come a long way in the last 10-20 years but there is still a huge gender gap in this industry, just like many others.” Claire believes that visibility of women in the sector is key – “we need more female role models to be visible to girls at a young age, educating them and inspiring them to seek new opportunities.” We agree Claire.
From talking to our contractors, it’s clear that a green career is future-proof, exciting and rewarding career path. To find out more about green careers and the current opportunities available, visit the Green Careers Hub now.