Going green: New Dorset Green Skills Hub will drive sustainability & create future workforce

Phil Sayles, Principal and CEO, Bournemouth & Poole College (left) with Kelly Bush, Vice Principal Curriculum and Quality, Weymouth College, and Lesley Spain, Principal Learning Manager, Skills & Learning Adult Community Education. Picture: Dorset Biz News.

By Staff Reporter [email protected]

Published: December 1, 2022 | Updated: 2nd December 2022

A new initiative aimed at helping drive sustainability and create the workforce of the future has been launched in Dorset.

Dorset Green Skills Hub is a partnership between Bournemouth & Poole College, Weymouth College and Skills & Learning Adult Community Education.

It’s funded by more than £800,000 from the government, won in a competitive national bid process.

The money is allowing Bournemouth & Poole College to buy new equipment and provide free, short introductory training on green technologies for the marine and automotive sectors.

It will also pay for a dedicated website, due to go live in the New Year, which will have a jobs search facility, highlight typical green roles and bring together local and generic training options.

Dorset Green Skills Hub was launched at The Italian Villa at Poole’s Compton Acres.

Addressing guests, Phil Sayles, Principal and CEO at Bournemouth & Poole College, said: “There is now a new skillset, an understanding which is needed across thousands of jobs and that’s the ability to understand and use green technologies and processes.

“These skills will be essential for business and the public sector in terms of economic performance and weaving a path through new regulatory frameworks over the coming decades.

“This project marks another key step in our county’s progress on this road.

“We see this as a first step.

“It’s a marker that we’re putting down about further activity to come to develop green technology training in our county.

“It will evolve skills to incorporate the green agenda and technologies into every economic sector as we grow what we’re doing.”

According to Dorset LEP, which is supporting Dorset Green Skills Hub together with Dorset Chamber, green jobs in the county grew by 35 per cent in 2020/21.

Lesley Spain, Principal Learning Manager, Skills & Learning Adult Community Education, pictured left, said the project funding would cover the training of at least 100 further education tutors.

She added: “We’re seeking passionate people who work in companies and want to champion sustainability, question or challenge the way they do business now and help the organisation or company change its way of working to be conscious about impact and use of resources.

“We’re looking to train 80 sustainability champions.

“Generally the workshops will be from 3-4 hours up to 12 hours depending on the time investment an individual wants to make.

“We would like a sustainability champion in every Dorset business by 2030 at least.”

Bournemouth & Poole College will run the first series of free one- or two-day courses from January  and up until March 31 2023.

Individuals following the automotive course route can achieve a Level 3 Award in electric and hybrid vehicle system repair and replacement.

On completion, students will receive a licence to work on electric cars.

Marine engineers and electricians undertaking Bournemouth & Poole College’s British Marine-validated marine course in its Marine Engineering Centre will gain a licence to work on electric boat engines.

As part of the initiative, funded from the government’s Strategic Development Fund, a further £800,000 has been awarded to Weymouth College to deliver green upskilling training courses in construction.

Skills & Learning Adult Community Education has also received £50,000 for sustainability awareness.

Phil, pictured right, said he was pleased at the number of people attending the launch of Dorset Green Skills Hub, including employers.

He said: “It shows real interest from the industries in these green technologies which they know are coming.

“I‘ve been in further education colleges for about 20 years and this is probably the first major initiative on the environment that I’ve been involved in during that time.

“We need to build on this through other projects, other funding groups and working with other partners on green technologies in every sector of the economy.

“Our aim is to help businesses.

“We want to create the workforce of the future.”

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