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Highlands Pupils Take Part In Pioneering Sustainability Skills Challenge

The eight teams from Tain Royal Academy and Gairloch High School took part in the Powering Futures Schools Challenge presentations, where they were tasked with finding innovative sustainable solutions to five real-world challenges facing businesses today. The challenge-setters were Scottish Water, EV charging experts Urban Fox, BritishGas, Newsquest and The Scottish Government, with the challenge topics spanning reducing water consumption, netzero targets for sports clubs and schools, improving transport connectivity and creating trusted media on climate change.

The pupils were tasked with researching the challenges and collaborating to come up with creative solutions. Drawing on guidance from industry mentors, they presented their creative solutions to a panel of expert judges from Scottish Water, Highland Council, Bear and Kier Construction at a showcase event held at Tain Royal Academy this week – earning a SCQF Level 6 qualification at the end of the process. 

Powering Futures was set up in 2020 to empower the young and future workforce with the skills,knowledge and abilities to help the transition to net zero.

The SCQF level 6 accredited Powering Futures Schools Challenge has seen 643 pupils from 43 schools across Scotland participate in 2023-2024 – with Powering Futures aiming to engage a million young people in the programme by 2030.

Congratulations to both Tain Royal Academy and Gairloch High School pupils for their outstanding efforts in the Powering Future programme.


Climate change is the number one issue young folk across my constituency raise with me, so I’m delighted to hear that this enthusiasm has been reflected both throughout the programme and in today’s final presentations.


The Highlands are rich with green assets, and it will be our young people who will lead the way to net-zero. With the Powering Futures programme’s emphasis on creative thinking, teamwork, and resilience, this helps give our young people the opportunity to develop skills which will be invaluable to future and existing industries where sustainability will be the key focus.

Maree Todd, MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross 

We were delighted to have 28 pupils from the Highlands take part in the Challenge Programme, and a special thank you to Tain Royal Academy for hosting us on Thursday. We are always blown away by the innovation and creativity shown by pupils as they tackle some relevant  challenges set by industry.


By empowering young people through our pioneering Powering Futures Challenge Programme, we can help them develop the critical skills that employers are looking for in their future workforce as well as establishing those essential links between the businesses of today and the workers of tomorrow who will power Scotland’s net-zero future.

Jennifer Tempany, Co-Founder of Powering Futures


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