Whether your ambition is to be a film maker, nurse or computer scientist, sustainability is the game changing agenda that is critical for all professions. We want to help you navigate your future career with a head-start on the professional issues around sustainability whatever industry you will be working in.
- Join an employability workshop – delivered by staff and industry experts on a variety of sustainability themes from professional skills, to specialist topics, social enterprise and careers. These sessions can contribute to your Gloucestershire employability award. Visit the Future Plan portal to see what’s coming up.
- Watch our Question the Professional Series – 3 half hour talks with professionals from different sectors. These bitze-sized insights will help you see beyond sustainability stereotypes to what system change looks like in a variety of professional settings. Find the playlist here.
- Take a short course – as part of our ‘Short course Saturdays’ series we curated a list of the top short courses to introduce you to a range of sustainability themes. Find out more on our blog here.
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We want to give you insights into real sustainability in practice from industry leaders, and we collaborate with lots of top partners to do this.
In 2019 we partnered with Interface, corporate sustainability leaders on the global stage, to run the Radical Sustainability masterclass.
Students from 8 courses exhibited coursework and projects against the Radical Sustainability competition brief and competed for professional prizes, with the winner joining Interface at Clerkenwell Design Week.
Our finalists were invited to the masterclass with Interface and local business leaders, to learn from the best about future innovation for sustainability. The finalists also experienced an exclusive business challenge workshop delivered by Interface on their new Climate Take Back programme.
Radical Sustainability was recognised as an ‘outstanding flagship’ in sustainability learning by the UN University Regional Centre of Expertise network.
Professional sustainability skills
Creating change for sustainability needs more than just knowledge of sustainability issues; it needs skills to be able to apply this knowledge and influence outcomes in a wide range of professional contexts. Top skills include:
- Futures thinking – envisioning a preferred future. Thinking on longer-term timescales that ensure short-term wins for profit don’t create long term risks for people, planet and profit.
- Systems thinking – thinking beyond one issue at a time. Understanding that resolving issues in siloes can create more problems. Appreciating the interconnectedness of people, planet and prosperity locally and globally.
- Stakeholder engagement and collaboration – the need to work together to build a more sustainable future. Engaging diverse cultural and sectoral viewpoints is key to people taking ownership and creating change.
- Leadership and influence – building people’s confidence in new ways of seeing risk, impacts and benefits of change. Having a vision for an alternative future and being able to get people’s buy-in.
In 2021 we’re developing a new online toolkit to help you explore these skills further. Follow us on social media to keep up to date.
Do a sustainability internship or placement
Our internships and placements offer flexible work experience that is future-facing and brings global sustainability into your professional outlook, helping you see the links with your studies and career.
These opportunities are open to all students on all courses and you can be placed on campus, working on sustainability projects in university departments, or off campus with one of our RCE Severn partners. Projects can be as wide-ranging as developing new products, creating communications, primary research, filming and animations, or student engagement campaigns.
Contact our Sustainability Engagement Manager to find out more.
Ashley, Dan & Toby
Producing short films for the University Sustainability Team to showcase their activities. Published the film to support the launch of the Sustainability Strategy 2017-2022 (produced in collaboration with Unit 1 films). Film of Sustainability Showcase 2017 to promote and celebrate activities of the Learning Innovation for Tomorrow projects.
“I gained new skills and experiences that I wouldn’t have had through my studies, like meeting professional deadlines and working for a company to create marketing videos. I learnt sustainability was more than I first thought, and covered things like education.”
3rd Year International Business
Undertook research on industry best practice in responsible purchasing and slavery in the global IT supply chains. Advice to the University’s IT team which helped guide them in making changes to key contracts awarded for new IT equipment and services, including the major new investment in cyber security.
“The internship gave me an opportunity to learn a huge amount about sustainability and ethics in the IT industry, something I wasn’t aware of before but hope will add to my employability.”
What employers are saying
In 2017 this consumer study revealed that 33% of 30,000 consumers in 5 countries now choose brands that do good and this means an untapped 1 trillion dollars of sales opportunities businesses are keen to leverage.
In the follow up 2018 Accenture report, Unilever report their ‘sustainable living’ brands are now growing 50% faster than other products and delivering 60% of their growth, based on the sustainability value chain.
Forward thinking universities are now focused on helping graduates to take this agenda forward – one trend spotting report from 2010 surveyed 700 organisations across different industry sectors and found 93% were planning to incorporate sustainability into their strategies and looking for fresh talent to support this aim.
Look for jobs in sustainability
Whatever your degree or research specialism, an awareness of the professional impact and contribution you can make to healthier, cleaner, happier societies will give you an edge in your future career.
Here are some links to recruitment websites which advertise dedicated sustainability-related opportunities for graduates looking to work in a wide range of sectors:
- Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges Jobs
- Environment Jobs
- Change Agents UK Sustainability Jobs
- Charity Jobs
- National Union of Students Jobs
- Bond International Development Jobs
For more information on developing graduate skills, speak to the future plan team or your course tutor: