VACANCY: Department for Education Youth Focal Point (x2) for Sustainability and Climate Change

We are excited to be recruiting two Youth Focal Points for Sustainability and Climate Change, in partnership with the Department for Education.


SOS-UK is a student-led education charity focusing on sustainability. We are working with the Department for Education (DfE) to ensure young people are supported to feed into the implementation and evaluation of the DfE’s Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy, which was published in 2022.

Role Overview

The Youth Focal Point role is a really exciting opportunity for two young people to work together to ensure youth voice is strongly embedded in the DfE Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy. This will involve high-level meetings with DfE officials, including civil servants and government ministers; speaking engagements at events; working together to write an evaluation report of the strategy; and being supported to facilitate sessions with young people in your own community to understand the impact of the strategy. The two Focal Points will hold a national and international focus, respectively, which will swap after the first year. We hope (not yet confirmed) the international rep would be able to attend COP with the DfE delegation in their year to ensure youth voice is integrated into the DfE’s wider work in this space.

The two young people select will receive consistent support from SOS-UK core staff who will provide relevant and tailored training and mentoring every step of the way. This will start with a fun and informative two-day in-person training workshop in July 2023 to help you settle into the role and develop your understanding – you do not need to be an expert when you apply! We will help you to learn everything you need to know to make the most of this opportunity.

Further training will involve topics such as: public speaking, sharing your point of view, active listening, and consulting your peers. You will develop knowledge in climate change and education policy, as well as how education can have a positive impact on sustainability. Through this opportunity, you will develop an in-depth understanding of policy implementation and the inner workings of a government department. There will be additional learning opportunities like shadowing a DfE civil servant in the Sustainability and Climate Change Unit or attending conferences and sector events alongside DfE and/or SOS-UK staff.

You will have a mentor in the SOS-UK core staff team who you will have regular check-ins with and who will support you every step of the way. You will be supported to reflect on your learning throughout the two-year post, preparing you to apply your skills and understanding to future career or educational opportunities.

You would be a great fit for the role if you are:

- Positive, passionate and excited about sustainability and education

- Willing to represent your peers and speak up on behalf of others

- Open and keen to learn and develop new skills and experience

You do NOT need to have any prior experience nor do you need to be an expert!


Interested candidates should submit an application via this form by midday Monday 5th June. Short-listed candidates will then be invited for an initial informal phone call with a member of the SOS-UK staff team, followed by an interview. All candidates will be notified either way at every stage.

We are totally committed to equality of opportunity for all. We welcome applications from individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds, age, ability, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, and sexual orientation. We offer a guaranteed interview scheme for people from marginalised racial backgrounds and people with disabilities who meet all essential criteria. You can opt into the scheme in the application form.

Closing date: midday Monday 5th June

Informal calls: 15th & 16th June

Interviews: 29th & 30th June

Start: 31st July

Further details:

This is a two-year position, from July 2023 to June 2025, for a young person aged 18-25 years old.

The commitment involves: - 2 day in-person training workshop at beginning of the role - Quarterly meetings with relevant DfE officials - Ad hoc engagement activities and events approx. 4x per year - Monthly check-ins with other youth focal point and SOS-UK staff. The two young people must be based in England and aged 18-25 years old. Paid a stipend of £500 per year, in quarterly instalments of £125.

All expenses for travel and subsistence will be covered as well as any costs to support participation, such as home broadband allowance or budget to purchase formal clothes, if needed. You will also receive a digital badge in recognition of the skills and expertise you develop in the role, for use on LinkedIn and in future applications.

Please apply using this form. You can find the role profile for more information and to help guide your application at the bottom of this page.