UWE wins £193k to provide low carbon courses in South West England



The University of the West of England has won £193,000 from Universities South West to develop a range of innovative workshops and courses to increase skills in low carbon industries in the region. The courses directly address skills gaps in the South West and will be piloted during February and March.

All of the courses have been designed around employer needs to maximise business benefits and minimise time away from work. The University will offer a range of work-based learning modules that provide delegates with the option of gaining academic credits towards an Integrated Professional Development award.

In the South West, the Low Carbon Environmental Goods and Services sector is worth £8 billion per year and employs approximately 75,000 people. The South West was designated the first Low Carbon Economic Area and accounts for 68% of the UK sector.

Professor James Longhurst of UWE\’s Faculty of Environment and Technology said, \”These courses support the further development of the environmental technology goods and services sector in the region.

\”UWE is well-placed to deliver them, as a founder-member of the Bristol-based environmental technologies trade organisation Low Carbon South West, and leader of the Environmental Technologies Innovation Network (the iNet) announced last November.

\”The Environmental iNet aims to assist environmental businesses such as renewable energy, waste management, sustainable transport and sustainable construction to improve their competitiveness.

\”The courses will become a key part of our solutions portfolio for this high growth sector. UWE\’s success in bidding for and developing these courses in such short timescale reflects the strength of our internal and external partnerships.\”

The courses will include:

Waste to Energy- to allow companies to identify and build a business case and implement solutions to convert their waste steams to energy

Developing a Zero Carbon Construction Industry- to allow construction companies to better understand \’whole life carbon\’ and develop a business case for lower carbon buildings

Lean Process Improvement – to enable companies to implement \’lean process improvement\’ throughout their organisation, with an option for participants to continue on to a programme to gain 180 credits at Masters level

Low Carbon Commercial Design- to provide an in depth understanding of how to design low carbon commercial buildings

Low Carbon Retrofit of Historic Buildings – to provide an understanding of policy and fiscal incentives for retrofitting pre-1910 buildings and the practical techniques involved

Composite Engineering – E-learning plus workshops – to provide a understanding of composite engineering principles, with an option to with an option use this learning towards a BSc (Hons) degree.

Environmental Legal Changes for Marine and Coastal – to provide an understanding of the legal framework associated with the sea for wind and tidal energy developers and others

Design for Automated Deposition of Composites – to understand how to design composite structures with automated production in mind

Maintenance and Repair of Advanced Composite Structures – including design for maintenance; in service testing; condition reporting; fault analysis and in service repair – led by Yeovil College in conjunction with UWE.

The successful bid was part of a larger sum of money awarded by Universities South West (USW), the higher education membership association for South West England, as part of its Low Carbon High Skills Project (LCHS). Project Manager, Deborah Winwood, explained,

\”The LCHS project, which is managed by Universities South West and funded by the SW RDA, aims to identify the emerging higher level skills needs of SW employers operating with low carbon technologies and respond by developing suitable provision through collaboration between HE providers and the employers. A Skills Solutions Fund of £540,000 was made available to facilitate the development of new courses and programmes. The region\’s universities and FE colleges were invited to put forward proposals to deliver programmes as workstreams within the LCHS project criteria. Competition for this fund was high, with proposals totalling £750K. We are delighted with the response from providers and firmly believe that this project will have a hugely positive impact on the continued success story that is the low carbon sector in the South West.\”

Stephen Batty from UWE\’s Research, Business and Innovation department which managed the bid process commented, \”It\’s great for UWE to win £193k out of a total of £540,000 awarded to the region, particularly as we were competing with commercial providers in a difficult funding environment.\”