Natasha Wilkinson, Sustainability and Facilities Coordinator at Shipley College
Week 1 of Colleges week is all about local focus, with an emphasis on Green Skills on Wednesday 11th October. But what are Green Skills?
In short, Green skills are skills needed to support a sustainable society and these are increasingly being requested in job postings across the country. Green Skills are that important that they are included as priority skills in the West Yorkshire LSIP (Local Skills Improvement Plan), in which employers state the skills they are looking for in their future employees. Green Skills need to be embedded in all careers to support a sustainable society.
So what is Shipley College doing to support Green Skills?
We made it our mission in 2022/23 to train all staff at the college on sustainable development and the importance of the SDGs. After all, how can students gain the Green Skills before tutors have the knowledge and understanding to teach these Green Skills in the first place?
See some snapshots below of our internal staff sustainability training.
1. Leadership and Management Training
An initial SDG session was delivered to L&M in September 2022. This was to ensure that sustainable practices and the SDGs were seen as a priority for the next academic year, with am emphasis of this being continued into the future. From this session, L&M were then able to cascade the training to their departments.
2. Service Staff Training
Two SDG sessions followed in October 2022 for service staff. Different departments were asked to sit together and were able to share what they currently did at work that linked with the SDGs. Staff then created a small action/pledge at the end of the session and were asked to work as ‘sustainability champions’ in their departments and complete their actions.
3. Academic Staff Training
Four SDG sessions were completed in July 2023 and the main emphasis was how sustainability and the SDGS can be linked into future lessons and activities. An SDG “Map the Curriculum Tool” resource was shared with academic staff and there were discussions on the importance of sustainable development in education. Staff were asked to review their teaching resources to embed sustainability in 2023/24.
4. Climate Literacy Training
All staff were able to volunteer to attend a two day Climate Literacy Course in July 2023. 11 staff members attended the course and learnt about the climate change challenge and greenhouse effect, and staff were able to discuss what a zero carbon world would look like. Staff submitted action pledges that were linked to how the tutors could embed carbon literacy into their future lessons and included; designing active travel leaflets, creating climate resources for young people with Special Education Needs and Disabilities and promoting the College’s distance learning sustainability courses.
Shipley College offers a Climate Change and Environmental Awareness qualification with funding available for those who meet certain criteria - find out more: