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This week in our NEAT Calendar highlights it as being Green Careers Week.  Coincidentally, on Monday 6th November, the Net Zero North East Summit was held at the Crowne Plaza in Newcastle and marked the region’s continued commitment to to addressing the climate emergency.  Helen Taylor, a representative from NEAT Academy Trust, attended this significant event that delved into the opportunities and challenges in the journey towards a sustainable, net-zero future for our communities in the Northeast.

NEAT Values and Alignment with Net Zero Partnership:

Our values—Aspirational, Responsible, Collaborative, Innovative, Inclusive—are the guiding principles shaping our approach. It was a real positive endorsement of how the Trust’s values align seamlessly with the ambitions of the Net Zero North East Partnership, emphasising collaboration, responsibility, and innovation.

The Summit was opened with an inspiring speech by Heidi Mottram CBE, Chief Executive of Northumbrian Water.

Key Speakers –  Councillor Graham Miller, Jamie Driscoll, Mayor of North of Tyne Combined Authority, Jonathan Oxley – CBI, Dr. Elni Bougioukou – Port of Tyne, Dr Charlotte Carpenter – Karbon Homes

The Key Takeaways:

Regional Approach – The summit emphasised a regional approach to tackling climate issues, promoting shared responsibility, and recognizing the scope for opportunity.

 Sustainable Future – The call to inspire everyone in the region to lead the way towards a more sustainable and prosperous future was a recurring theme.

Shifts in Government Policy – Despite policy shifts at the government level, the North East remains resolute in pushing for net zero by 2050, contributing £1.9 billion to the regional economy and creating 27,000 jobs.

Measuring Progress – A dashboard to measure progress was introduced, offering better ways to track and support decision-making.

Green Jobs – The Northeast is leading the way in creating green jobs, contributing to a 4.1% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in 2021.

Challenges and Opportunities:

Transport Challenges – Addressing challenges in transport, including providing alternatives for school kids and making public transport more accessible.

Inequality and Education – Acknowledging the inequalities and exploring how to educate communities and learners on sustainable practices.

Growth Opportunity – Discussing the growth opportunities and the UK’s positioning as a leader in innovative industrial clusters.

Hydrogen Economy – The potential of the hydrogen economy and the importance of collaboration in unlocking its benefits.

Closing Thoughts:

So what is our call to action as a Trust to meet ensure our pupils are ready for these new and sometimes radical opportunities:

Strategic Priority: Placing Careers Education as a strategic priority, now in its second year.

Integrated Curriculum: Ensuring career education is seamlessly woven as a golden thread throughout our curriculum.

Green Careers Awareness: Raising awareness of Green Careers through daily teaching, off-visits, visiting speakers, curriculum design, and Staff CPD, including Labour Market Information.

Labour Market Familiarisation: Familiarising staff and pupils with the labour market.

Key Partnerships: Developing key partnerships with businesses, apprenticeship providers, community groups, and Further Education institutions.

Parental Engagement: Actively encouraging Career Conversations at home through parental engagement.

Trust-wide Careers Week: Ensuring that Green Careers is a prominent feature in NEAT’s whole Trust Careers week.

Early Career Journey: Initiating our pupils’ career journey right from Early Years.

Transparent Communication: Running campaigns on our social media channels and publishing our Career offer on our websites to keep stakeholders informed of our plans.

Partnership with Personal Development: Running the Careers Education offer in partnership with our Personal Development.

The NEAT Experience: Introducing the NEAT Experience – a tailored curriculum fostering opportunities and milestones in our student’s learning journey, aiming to create a virtual CV and support a seamless transition into work or further education while reinforcing our core values.  Ensuring that there are experiences that link to ‘Green’ Careers and sustainability.

The summit emphasised that achieving net zero is not just about tackling emissions but also creating opportunities and protecting jobs. It highlighted the need for collaboration, innovation, and a shared vision for a sustainable future.

As educators, we play a crucial role in preparing our learners for the opportunities that the net-zero journey brings. By aligning with the NEAT values, we strive to instill a sense of responsibility, collaboration, and innovation in our young minds.

Let’s leverage this momentum to drive positive change and build a future where our learners can thrive in a green and sustainable world.