Innovation That Matters

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Net-zero education: the 'Duolingo' of green skills


Could an AI-powered app empower the next generation of workers?

Spotted: Countries are investing heavily in renewable energy, but there’s a growing gap between demand for green tech and the number of skilled workers who can install it. In the UK, for instance, electrical engineers and certified welders are in particularly short supply, with thousands more needed than are available.

One method for upskilling young people and introducing them to a range of opportunities in green employment is web-based digital platform GetZero. The app uses a gamified approach to teach practical skills and knowledge about decarbonisation and sustainability, aiming to spark curiosity in young people and encourage them to pursue green jobs. Free for schools to use, the app provides up-to-date data on the different aspects of the climate crisis and helps young people make the mental connections between local action and global change.

Students can explore a household’s appliances and building materials, learning how various changes can reduce a building’s carbon footprint. Challenges turn this education into action by encouraging students to work with family members and their community to make similar improvements to their homes. As users complete challenges, additional levels unlock within the game. And for educators, resources include quizzes on a range of topics, and the latest news and statistics.

According to GetZero’s CEO Matt Robinson, “[Young people] want to work in jobs that have a positive impact, but they don’t see jobs in retrofit, electric vehicles, and low-carbon heating as a way to make a difference. Our mission is to use gamification and AI-powered learning technologies to engage with digitally native young people and get them curious about the growing range of good green jobs.” As such, the platform also includes entry-level green jobs listings and information about apprenticeship and vocational education opportunities.

GetZero is working with new partners to broaden its educational content, for instance to introduce retrofit skills in a new form of gamification. The app will then signpost the broad range of retrofit skills that young users can then go and explore.

From retraining programmes for oil and gas workers to vertical farming courses for prisoners, Springwise has spotted a variety of innovations working to close the projected green skills gap before it gets any larger.

Written By: Keely Khoury



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