British Gas creates 1,000 jobs in green sector



British Gas is to hand the UK employment market a major boost by creating 1,000 jobs over the next three years, all of which will be filled by young, unemployed people.

The new roles are designed to help the energy giant meet new government "green" rules, which came into effect last month and force power companies to provide efficiency technology and home improvements to low-income households and others considered to be at risk of fuel poverty.

Under the so-called Energy Company Obligation, British Gas is working with local authorities and housing associations to provide modifications including cavity wall insulation and advice to residents on how to consume less fuel.

Claire Williams, managing director of British Gas' new energy division, said the company was working in partnership with an environmental charity, Global Action Plan, to recruit young, unemployed people, who may live in disadvantaged areas and struggle to get work.

As part of the scheme, Global Action Plan will train around 1,400 16 to 24 year-olds currently unemployed and on Jobseeker's Allowance on a five-day scheme covering basic sustainability issues.

All young people who complete the course are guaranteed an interview with British Gas, where, it is anticipated, 1,000 under-25s will go on to get jobs with the company.

Ms Williams said: "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". She said the candidates would pick up useful, transferable skills in the growing "green" economy, helping them to kick-start their careers.

Trewin Restorick, chief executive of Global Action Plan, said: "Our unique partnership will change the lives of 1,400 young unemployed people by providing qualifications and interview experience."

The five-day training scheme has been designed by Accenture (NYSE: ACN - news) , the management consultancy.