The two-year partnership between the environmental charity Global Action Plan and the management consultancy company Accenture to train 1,300 young people in green skills is certainly timely. With youth unemployment at more than a million and the government setting aside £1bn to tackle it, the issue couldn't be more current.
But the partnership is also the consequence of a more long-term trend, which has seen Global Action Plan work increasingly with corporations in order to deliver its charitable aim of reducing carbon footprints. The charity was Sky's strategic partnership for three years from 2008 and assisted the company in leadership training and 'greening' its supply chain. Global Action Plan is currently working with O2, Sainsbury's and Friends Provident.
"Having started to work with Sky, we realised that working with big business gives us massive potential to deliver our charitable objectives," says Trewin Restorick, chief executive of Global Action Plan. "It's something that has grown over time and we have gradually started to work with more companies on a bigger scale."
But the partnership is the charity's first to deal with youth unemployment. The participants, drawn from other charities such as the Prince's Trust and Fairbridge, will take BTEC qualifications in areas such as climate change and carbon-saving actions, do work experience and then, it is hoped, get jobs or set up businesses.
Accenture volunteers will help with CV writing and improving communications skills. The company is providing £170,000 to fund the programme.