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A snapshot of the generation that will lead Brazil’s energy sector

4/5/2022

4 min read

Guilherme Castro and Luiz Miranda
Guilherme Castro (left), Project Innovation Manager at Octopus Energy and Chair of the EI London Young Professionals Network, and Luiz Miranda (right), Co-Founder of EnergyC

What is the profile of young Brazilians working in the energy sector? Data on this was virtually unknown until EnergyC created its Young Energy survey last year. Guilherme Castro (left), Project Innovation Manager at Octopus Energy and Chair of the EI London Young Professionals Network, and Luiz Miranda (right), Co-Founder of EnergyC, report.

In a country that has always stood out for its leadership in the energy sector, whether through the technological development of deepwater oil and gas exploration or through the renewable energy matrix, understanding the generation that will lead the industry is essential to maintaining Brazil’s strategic position.

 

Young people everywhere will help both traditional companies already in the sector and the new ones that will emerge to navigate the energy transition the world is going through. And this is no different in Brazil, where more efforts will be required to include young professionals to accelerate its development if it does not want to be left behind.

 

The survey
With this gap in the market in mind, EnergyC created the Young Energy survey. EnergyC is the first hub for young people in the Brazilian energy sector, proposing solutions, new connections, social promotion and developing young leaders through innovative projects and events.

 

For example, the company launched its first Leadership Development Programme focused on the energy sector in April 2020, with the objective of ‘developing a virtual learning programme through a young network, applying practical activities and mentoring with great professionals in the sector’. To date, more than 2,000 people have participated in the programmes, including 150 mentors connected to the network and more than 50 companies supporting the projects.

 

At the beginning of 2021, EnergyC carried out its first survey, titled The Profile of Young People in the Energy Sector, mobilising more than 30 organisations and 400 young people from 18–29 years old, distributed across 24 states in the five regions of Brazil. The survey is just one of the projects carried out by the organisation, which also creates programmes, spaces and opportunities such as mentoring, hackathons, research groups and networking, so that young people can develop professionally and acquire soft and hard skills.

 

This initiative sought, in a collaborative and unprecedented format, to identify the profile of young people in energy, map the characteristics of young people who work or intend to work in the sector, awaken their leadership qualities and stimulate debate to create mechanisms to contribute to their development in the energy market.

 

Who are these future leaders?
Data collected in the 2021 survey revealed that males form 54% of participants, a less significant majority than usually found in the sector. Of the respondents, 46% declared themselves to be female.

 

From a geographical point of view, the research identified a more engaged youth force in the north-east region of Brazil, where 37% of the participants are based, followed by 24% in the south-east, 14% in the south, 10% in the north and 5% in the mid-west. This does not mirror government population distribution data, which shows that 42% of people live in the south-east region, 28% in the north-east, 14% in the south, 9% in the north, and 8% in the mid-west.

 

Engineering is still the most popular course that young people working in the energy sector in Brazil take, accounting for 74% of all respondents. Regarding practical experiences in college, 41% of respondents declared that they had not participated in any organised energy-related initiative, followed by 20% in university societies and 14% in the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).

 

When asked if it is necessary to bring the energy sector industry closer to educational institutions, the survey respondents were virtually unanimous: 88% strongly agree and 10% agree with this statement.

 

Assembling the profile of young energy workers
The information obtained by the survey allowed the construction of a complete profile of young people working or wanting to work in the Brazilian energy sector, giving them a voice to report their personal and professional characteristics and share their views about the industry in general.

 

It is important to emphasise that the research still has great potential for evolution from a methodological point of view; this survey is just the first step. In a country that has 23% of its population aged between 15–29 years old, representing some 47mn people in absolute numbers, understanding the profile of these young people is essential for improving the attraction and retention of talent within a sector that expects its demand for professionals to triple by 2030.

 

With the assemblance of this profile, it is expected that the market will see the transforming force these young people offer, opening spaces for them to effectively act in the construction of the future of a more competitive, accessible, clean and efficient energy sector.

 

This year’s new and updated survey has just been completed and we hope to develop this project by tracking the evolution of the new generation that will lead the sector over the coming years.

 

The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the authors only and are not necessarily given or endorsed by or on behalf of the Energy Institute.

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