The National Union of Students Scotland is officially endorsing an environmental pledge calling for all educational careers services to end relationships with oil, gas and mining recruiters.
The students’ union is calling for all universities to “end their relationships” with companies linked to fossil fuel production, and urging every university careers service to stop promoting jobs from these sectors to students.
The pledge is part of a People and Planet project named Fossil Free Careers, which is urging universities to sever ties with employers who promote work that causes environmental harm to students.
They said they have “a long and rich history of supporting campaigns that use boycotts and divestments as a non-violent strategy to pressure organisations into ending unethical practices.”
Education institutions today, the NUSS claims, are allegedly complicit in violence against human life and the planet in multiple ways. The union argues that these education institutions “uphold the fossil fuel and arms industries through their investment portfolios.”
“These companies are also bolstered through recruitment pipelines from education into corporations responsible for great injustice and harm,” the NUSS added.
Grassroots, student-led divestment campaigns have successfully challenged this across the sector, and 60 per cent of the UK higher education institutions are now committed to fully excluding fossil fuel extractor companies from their investment portfolios.
When careers services continue to platform the extractive industries and the arms industries, the NUS concluded “the activities of oil, gas, mining and arms companies are implicitly condoned, and their presence normalised to students when they are platformed at careers fairs and in job listings”.
Students deserve to be trained in green jobs
Matt Crilly, the president of NUSS, told The Ferret the union “is proud to support the Fossil Free Careers campaign.”
“Students deserve to be trained in sustainable, green jobs that protect both people and the planet. University and college careers departments should not be supporting oil, gas and mining industries which contribute to climate and colonial violence. Now is the time for our universities and colleges to step up and end their complicity in the destruction of our planet”.
J Clarke, acting director of campaigns at People & Planet, said individual Scottish colleges and universities should sign up.
“Many Scottish universities were falling over themselves to tout their green credentials and publicise their involvement in COP26.” they added. “Now is the time to turn that public image into public action by excluding big polluters from recruiting on campuses in Scotland.
In March, students at Edinburgh University became the first in Scotland to vote to boycott all oil, gas and mining industry recruiters from campus.
Like the NUS, Edinburgh University students’ association (EUSA) are also putting pressure on the institutions themselves to take the same approach. Student campaigners are pushing for the university to exclude fossil fuel recruiters from its careers fairs and service, and publish an ‘ethical careers policy’.
Photo Credit: Jacob Ammentorp Lund