The North East Apprenticeship Company (NEAC) is launching an initiative to recruit new apprentices for ‘green’ training places.

The programme kicks-off during National Apprenticeship Week 2011 (next week Monday 7th to Friday 11th Feb) and is aimed at finding potential young apprentices for future employment specifically in the environmental sector.

Planned job roles and targeted sectors will include environment officer, carbon management and eco tourism as well as recycling, waste disposal and pollution control.

The move comes as the environmental sector is expanding due to increasing concern about climate change and pollution and will see NEAC working towards becoming the first organistaion of its type to achieve an environment award from the Environmental Academy.

The Swalwell-based Academy is a national training and consultancy company which provides businesses with support on environmental, quality and health and safety issues.

It was established to help industry, commerce and the education sector to meet growing demands of new legislation in these areas, offering consultancy services for people working in the environmental sector or looking to CPD with professional tuition.

The first new NEAC apprenticeship to be launched, in partnership with the Environmental Academy, will be for apprentice environmental management administrators with green apprentices starting work very soon.

Training will be delivered in partnership with WBL Providers and Colleges and those who participate will, as part of their apprenticeship, help employers find new ways of reducing their carbon footprint – as well as assisting them in working towards achieving internationally recognised quality standards like ISO 14001.

Apprentices will learn how to undertake, for instance, green audits for their employers as part of the skills training they receive. This will enable them to identify areas where improvements can be made, boosting their employers’ environmental credentials and helping them reduce carbon emissions and recycle more.

As part of the move, NEAC will be offering a free consultation service to help employers improve their carbon footprint

NEAC aims to create over 1000 new apprentice jobs in the North East over the next few years. Almost 150 companies have signed up with the NEAC since it was launched and more than 400 potential apprentices have registered for placements.

As well as handling the recruitment and selection of young people for apprentice placements NEAC provides an HR function for its candidates and delivers their training through locally-based providers.

NEAC managing director, Paul Champion, said: “The green job market is growing due to increasing concern about climate change and pollution, and as a result tighter regulations are affecting more businesses than ever before.

“We have partnered with the Environmental Academy to support Green Apprenticeships and encourage business growth through environmental training and awareness.

”With this partnership we will screen and select the right ‘green’ apprentices to undergo government funded training to ensure they have the skills that will benefit each individual company.”

Rita Callendar, managing director of the Gateshead-based Environmental Academy said: “We are very pleased to be working with NEAC on this innovative new programme.

“For a company hiring a green apprentice the benefits are great. This is an opportunity for the business to show a first step taken towards showing environmental management expertise or to enhance their existing arrangements.

“The green apprentice, while working and training will also help the company achieve an Enviro Award. And the apprentice gets the opportunity to qualify in a role that will fit a growing job market in Green careers.”

Apprenticeship Week 2011 aims to highlight the talents and skills of apprentices and celebrate the value of apprenticeships. More about NEAC at or email blog: Tel: 0191 490 2453.

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