Dumfries & Galloway Pupils Take Part In Pioneering Sustainability Skills Challenge

Forty-one pupils from Dumfries and Galloway put their sustainability skills to the test at Annan Academy as they took part in a pioneering programme aimed at developing the employability skills of the future.

The 15 teams from Dalbeattie High School and Annan Academy took part in the Powering Futures Schools Challenge presentations, where they were tasked with finding innovative sustainable solutions to five real-world challenges facing businesses today.

The challenge-setters were Scottish Water, EV charging experts Urban Fox, BritishGas, Newsquest and The Scottish Government, with the challenge topics spanning reducing water consumption, netzero targets for sports clubs and schools, improving transport connectivity and creating trusted media on climate change.

The pupils were tasked with researching the challenges and collaborating to come up with creative solutions. Drawing on guidance from industry mentors, they presented their creative solutions to a panel of expert judges including Ian Murchie and representatives from Tilhill and Dumfries and Galloway College, at a showcase event held at Annan Academy on Friday – earning a SCQF Level 6 qualification at the end of the process.

Powering Futures was set up in 2020 to empower the young and future workforce with the skills, knowledge and abilities to help the transition to net zero.

The SCQF level 6 accredited Powering Futures Schools Challenge has seen 643 pupils from 43 schools across Scotland participate in 2023-2024 – with Powering Futures aiming to engage a million young people in the programme by 2030.

Finlay Carson, MSP for Galloway and West Dumfries, said:

“Encouraging young people to become involved in developing their knowledge in green skills has to be warmly welcomed.
“Powering Futures works with schools and businesses to ensure young people learn more about what skills are required to work in future industries.
“Having visited Dalbeattie High School last month, I am delighted that pupils are taking part in a real-world sustainability challenge later this month and wish them every success.”

Jennifer Tempany, Co-Founder of Powering Futures, said:

“We were delighted to have 15 teams from Dumfries and Galloway take part in the Challenge Programme, and a special thank you to Annan Academy for hosting us on Friday. We are always blown away by the innovation and creativity shown by pupils as they tackle some relevant challenges set by industry.
“By empowering young people through our pioneering Powering Futures Challenge Programme, we can help them develop the critical skills that employers are looking for in their future workforce as well as establishing those essential links between the businesses of today and the workers of tomorrow who will power Scotland’s net-zero future.”


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