Calderdale College has invested almost half a million pounds of funding in renewable technology that will help to meet the region’s environmental skills needs.
The funding, received via the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges (WYCC) under the Department for Education’s Strategic Development Fund, will enable investment in specialist equipment to deliver electric vehicle and retrofit training. It will also help the college to embed sustainability knowledge within the curriculum and foster links with businesses to develop and enhance their green agenda.
The specialist equipment includes ground and air source heat pumps, as well as six solar panels, four live EV charging bays and an EV maintenance training rig. This high-tech equipment will be installed at the college’s Inspire Centre for students studying plumbing and professional trades courses, giving them the chance to develop the necessary skills required in these industries.
Working in partnership with Halifax Renewable Energy, which has over 10 years’ experience installing renewable energy systems, most recently at Todmorden Sports Centre, the college will deliver upskilling courses for workers already in the industry and embed the modules into full-time study programmes by 2024.
Robin Smith, Head of Faculty for Creative, Digital and Professional Trades at Calderdale College, said: “Developing our curriculum to include sustainability is crucial as we strive to equip our students the most up-to-date knowledge ready for employment. Offering the opportunity to gain skills on heat pumps is a real first in Further Education in the local area.
“This is a valued investment of more than £400,000 from the Department for Education that will substantially support the small and micro businesses in our community with sustainable skills and training.”
Heat pumps are a low carbon method of heating buildings and will help the college as it moves towards supporting Calderdale Council in achieving its pledge of net zero by 2038.
Steve Shimbles, Director at Halifax Renewable Energy, commented: “We’re working with Calderdale College to drive the green agenda forward and support our district with reaching its target of net zero by 2030.
“Together we are developing new ways of working, teaching, and learning; this collaboration is already turning Calderdale into a centre of excellence for low carbon technologies.”
Joanne Patrickson, Project Director at the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges said, "We're delighted to see the investment from the Strategic Development Fund (SDF) coming to life and the equipment starting to be used in training delivery. Working in collaboration with colleges across the region we have been able to secure the funding for state of the art training equipment, as well as facilitating knowledge-sharing to develop retrofit and electric vehicle skills that are in growing demand."
To find out more about Calderdale College’s construction courses, visit www.calderdale.ac.uk/courses