We are calling on UK University careers services to end recruitment pipelines into the oil, gas, and mining industries.
The vast majority of UK University careers services are actively promoting careers in the oil, gas, and mining industries. They invite these companies to attend careers fairs, advertise their vacancies on careers websites, and promote them in emails to the student body.
Universities are providing a recruitment pipeline into the extractive industries, and are propping up the companies most responsible for destroying the climate and the planet. But students across the UK are fighting back and campaigning to get their University careers services end their relationships with the oil, gas, and mining industries.
In 2022, we secured our first campaign win, and there are now 3 UK universities that have ended fossil fuel recruitment on campus. Join the campaign and let's make your uni the next.
Across the UK, students and staff are campaigning for an end to recruitment relationships between universities and the oil, gas, and mining industries. Increasingly, they are even taking things into their own hands and are chasing fossil fuel recruiters off campus themselves.
Campaigning under the banner of People & Planet's Fossil Free Careers campaign, these students are calling upon University careers services to do the following:
- Refuse all new relationships with oil, gas and mining companies.
- Decline to renew any current relationships with oil, gas and mining companies after the contractually obligated period ends.
- Adopt a publicly available Ethical Careers Policy that explicitly excludes oil, gas and mining companies from recruitment opportunities.
By actively promoting careers in the oil, gas, and mining sectors, universities are reinforcing the power of those industries and contributing to the climate and ecological crisis. This practice must end. Over 60% of the university sector has now made a commitment to fossil fuel divestment, recognising that it is wrong to invest money in the very companies wrecking the planet. Yet every single one of those universities still has no policy to prevent oil, gas, and mining companies recruiting students on their campus.
It's now time to come together as students, staff, alumni, and community members to demand that universities take action and implement Fossil Free Careers.
There is significant precedent for our demands. This is something universities can do, and so this is a campaign that we can win. We have now won the campaign at 3 UK universities...so far!
The Careers Service at Wrexham Glyndwr University (WGU), for example, has put in place a policy stating that: "Moving forwards, WGU Careers and Employability will no longer collaborate or hold relationships with the following industries/companies on any of its workstreams...
- Fossil Fuel companies, as defined by the Carbon Underground 200
- Mining companies, including the 100 coal companies in the Carbon Underground 200 and the companies in the Transition Mineral Mining 50."
Such a policy could be implemented by most institutions across the UK university sector. In fact, this form of industry exclusion isn't even a new idea. More than 20% of University careers services already bar one or more of the tobacco industry, adult/sex industry, or gambling industry from advertising to students.
Ending these recruitment pipelines is popular with students: graduates are increasingly turning away from oil and gas jobs, and understand that careers in extractive industries have no future. The student body is becoming more and more engaged with environmental issues, and universities that do not recognise that will be left behind their environmentally conscious peers.
There are some universities that do not operate a dedicated careers service. Because the campaign demands above would be inapplicable to these universities, we have developed a parallel Fossil Free Careers Declaration. Signatories to the Fossil Free Careers Declaration confirm that they have no in-house careers service, and pledge to encourage and request their existing third-party recruitment partners to end their relationships with the oil, gas, and mining industry. Read more about the Fossil Free Careers Declaration.
We know that there is no future for jobs in the oil, gas, and mining industries. There can be no future for their model of profit-driven, environmentally destructive resource extraction if we are to build a just energy system and liveable planet for all.
We need you to show your support and tell universities to end recruitment pipelines. Will you add your voice to the demands?
Keen to join the growing movement for Fossil Free Careers? We'd love for you to be a part of it.
We need your support on our UK-wide petition calling for Fossil Free Careers. It is unacceptable that universities continue to prop up the companies most responsible for the climate crisis, and the more of us that tell them that, the quicker they will need to change.
If you're up for getting actively involved, then get in touch using the form at the bottom of this page. Tell us a bit about who you are and which university you're based at. One of our staff members will be in touch in the next few days to talk you through the campaign and work out how you might get started.
Check out our Campaign Resource Page, where you can find everything you'll need to run the campaign on your campus. From guides and stickers to flyers and posters, it's all there for you to use. Why not start with our Action Guide, which is a complete guide to running the Fossil Free Careers campaign?
Image credit: Consejo de Pueblos Atacameños (Council of Peoples of the Atacama)
Universities are currently propping up the very industries most responsible for the climate and ecological crisis unfolding around us: the oil, gas, and mining industries. By promoting careers in extractive companies, they are assisting these harmful, unsustainable industries to present themselves as an acceptable part of our present and future.
But we know that they cannot be part of a just and sustainable future for all. Fossil fuel companies are responsible for accelerating the climate crisis. They use their massive influence to prevent effective climate policy, and their entire business model is bound up in exploiting people, nature and the power differences caused by colonialism, capitalism and racism.
However, this also extends to the mining of minerals that are required for renewable energy systems, like cobalt and copper. Whether it is drilling for oil or mining for nickel, extractive operations depend on the exploitation of poor, marginalised, racialized populations who bear the brunt of the violence caused. Entire communities get displaced from their homes against their will, and have their land, water and air poisoned. Livelihoods are destroyed, and those who resist often experience violent repression.
We are therefore campaigning against the oil, gas and mining industry as a whole. Working with the London Mining Network Just Transition Working Group, we have developed a list of 250 target companies for this campaign.