Climate Action

Drax launches initiative to improve green skills for one million people

Drax is the UK’s first energy company to make a pledge to boost social mobility for one million people by 2025.

  • 15 January 2021
  • Rachel Cooper

Drax is the UK’s first energy company to make a pledge to boost social mobility for one million people by 2025.

Drax has announced the target as part of its Opportunity Action Plan developed in partnership with the Social Mobility Pledge.

Through its ‘Mobilising a Million’ initiative, the renewable energy company will connect with one million people by 2025 to improve skills, education, employability and opportunity.

Clare Harbord, Drax Group Director of Corporate Affairs, said: “Drax, along with other businesses, has an important part to play in making sure we have a future workforce with the skills to deliver the new technologies needed to decarbonise the economy and meet the UK’s net zero target."

“By boosting education, skills and employability opportunities for a million people, we can start to level the playing field and build a more diverse workforce. This will make the energy sector stronger and able to make a more significant contribution to the UK’s green recovery from Covid.”

It is one of a pioneering group of UK businesses and universities aiming to set a new and higher standard on boosting social mobility in Britain, with boardroom focus on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues, through the Social Mobility Pledge.

Drax are using ground-breaking Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) technology to become carbon negative by 2030 – meaning it will be permanently removing more CO2 from the atmosphere than its operations create.

As a founding member of the Zero Carbon Humber bid which aims to use BECCS, hydrogen and other CCS technologies to decarbonise industry across the region, Drax will help to level up the North. Independent analysis published last year by Vivid Economics shows that deploying these new, green energy technologies will create and support around 50,000 jobs, helping to reverse the economic impacts of the Covid crisis.

Justine Greening, Co-founder of the Social Mobility Pledge, said: “Achieving true social mobility in Britain and levelling up our country is a huge challenge but one that businesses are rising to. Businesses like Drax have a crucial role to play in levelling up, and ensuring that our country’s Net Zero targets and ambitions are not just met, but delivered in a way that creates opportunities and levels up communities like Selby, Ipswich, Northampton and in Scotland where Drax has its operations."

“In publishing this Opportunity Action Plan and marking its ambition to improve skills, education, employability and opportunity for one million people – Drax has demonstrated its commitments to making a positive social impact.”