A BID to put Cumbria at the forefront of driving sustainability in business has been boosted by the launch of a bespoke apprenticeship. 

The new corporate responsibility and sustainability apprenticeship, which is set to be delivered by Lakes College from October, was revealed to business leaders at a meeting of the Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster.

The apprenticeship, which has been developed with the support of BECBC, will train employees who can be the social conscience of any business and help to innovate and drive ambitions for social and environmental change.

Dianne Richardson, chief executive at BECBC, said the launch could help to make Cumbria the place to be for sustainability professionals.

She said: “Corporate responsibility and sustainability roles have really come to the forefront for businesses over the last few years.

“Here in Cumbria there’s been a strong focus on social value and social impact, particularly through nuclear supply chains, but we’re now seeing much more alignment with environmental bringing those people and planet focuses together as they are so interlinked.”

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Philippa Hardy, who will be one of the lecturers at the college responsible for delivering the apprenticeship, added: “We are using the expertise that we have in delivering apprenticeships across other disciplines with our excellent teaching staff and are involving BECBC in some of the content.

“We are inviting guest speakers to come in and contribute to the delivery to provide that specialist experience and voice.”

Apprentices would provide support in developing their business’s corporate responsibility and sustainability strategy and take part in monthly workshops at the college’s Lillyhall campus.

“It’s an exciting time for people to get involved in this career as there’s a skills shortage and also an ability to influence where the career goes,” Dianne added.

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“So, in a large company these roles could involve working with internal teams across the company and possibly across regions of the world with some companies as well as external supply chain.

“In smaller companies there could be a very hands-on approach of helping to achieve net zero targets and maximise the impact in the local community.

“The possibilities for future careers are very varied.”