Lothian has partnered with Powering Futures to deliver a pioneering workplace skills development programme which will see eight apprentice engineers tasked with developing solutions to a sustainability concern while safeguarding future business prosperity.
Participants in the Powering Futures Challenge Programme will collaborate on a solution to a sustainability challenge set by Lothian, and present that solution to a panel of industry-leading judges – developing their skills in innovation, networking and collaboration.
The challenge to be tackled by Lothian’s apprentice engineers is a reduction in the use of energy, particularly gas, across the company’s estate.
Powering Futures was set up in 2020 to empower the young and future workforce with the skills, critical thinking, and enthusiasm to help their organisation transition to net zero. Partnering with businesses to help them solve real-time climate change challenges, Powering Futures tasks teams of 16–25-year-olds with solving a sustainability problem set by industry or their employer and supports them in coming up with creative solutions through teamwork and climate skills.
Colin Barnes, Director of Engineering at Lothian, said: “As the main bus operator in Edinburgh, we are fully committed to ensuring we play our part in reducing emissions across Edinburgh and the Lothians, including within our premises and plan to become fully net zero by 2035.
“We are excited to be working with Powering Futures to encourage and empower our young workforce to come up with the solutions to the challenge of energy use. Our younger colleagues will look at these issues in a different way to those who have been in the business for a long time, and we are confident that their suggestions will inspire a step-change in how this sustainability challenge is approached. Nothing is off limits.”
The Lothian Buses Powering Futures Challenge was officially launched by Ben Macpherson, MSP for Edinburgh Northern and Leith, at Central Depot in Annandale Street on Tuesday 9 January where he met with the Challenge participants.
Ben Macpherson MSP said: “It’s great that Powering Futures and Lothian Buses are working together to help empower the young workforce. The Challenging Programme will equip participants with key skills for their career, and also bring forward innovative, new ideas for how Lothian Buses can continue to lead in decarbonising the transport sector.”
Jennifer Tempany, Co-Founder of Powering Futures, added: “We are delighted to be working with Lothian Buses to bring this pioneering initiative to their young workforce. The transport sector is understandably a major focus area in the transition towards net zero, but it’s also where we are seeing some of the most innovative solutions to sustainability challenges.
“Through the Powering Futures Challenge Programme, we are empowering tomorrow’s business leaders to solve real-time sustainability challenges and work towards future economic prosperity. We believe that economic prosperity and sustainability exist together – and the example set by previous Challenge participants proves that the model works for businesses, the young workforce, and the climate.
“We are excited to work with the team at Lothian Buses to empower the young workforce and bring their creative sustainability solutions to life.”