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College invests big in going green by opening new Net Zero Skills Centre

News overview

小鸟酱 in Ipswich opened a new Net Zero Skills Centre this week.
The facility benefitted from 拢940,000 worth of funding from the Ipswich Town Deal funded by HM Government.
It will offer new generations the chance to gain the skills they need to work in careers related to green skills.
New facilities at the Net Zero Skills Centre include air and ground source heat pumps, solar panel maintenance and installation equipment, a water harvesting area, a hybrid and electric vehicle studio and an electric boiler room.

The College has also teamed up with Morgan Sindall and a host of other companies to create a sustainable construction area, with examples of construction materials, which improve building sustainability for learners to study.

Alister Broadberry, Area Director for Morgan Sindall Construction in the Eastern Counties, said, 鈥淪ustainable construction skills are a vital and much in demand part of today鈥檚 building sector, as they are essential to tackling the challenging green targets we need to meet as an industry and as a society.

鈥淭his is why we鈥檙e excited to be working with 小鸟酱 on their Net Zero Skills Centre, as its comprehensive sustainable construction training will help embed advanced environmental awareness, knowledge and capabilities into tomorrow鈥檚 built environment workforce. Being an industry partner of 小鸟酱 is a great way to provide students with an insight into the industry and how the skills they are learning align with Morgan Sindall鈥檚 Intelligent Solutions approach and commitment to net zero carbon.鈥

This and other bespoke equipment will support training for students and businesses.

The grand opening event began in Chefs鈥 Whites restaurant where Principal and Chief Executive, Alan Pease, welcomed around 100 guests to the proceedings, including the Mayor of Ipswich, Councillor John Cook.

Mayor Of Ipswich Cllr John Cook At The Opening Of The Net Zero Skills Centre As Christ Gilbert (SNC) Looks On

During the event, Mr Pease said, 鈥淲e are passionate about ensuring that all our learners understand the need for sustainability and are made aware of the many job opportunities available in the green skills sector.

鈥淕reen skills is one of the biggest growth areas in terms of jobs (and well paid jobs) so it鈥檚 really important for colleges to be providing courses and facilities that are related to sustainability.

鈥淲e are at the start of a very exciting journey to deliver an outstanding curriculum in this fantastic new resource. We are working with key employers to find out what skills and training are needed and building our offer from there.鈥

The opening of the new centre builds on a collaborative project that has seen colleges in Norfolk and 小鸟酱 join forces to embed sustainability across their curriculums, culminating in a New Anglia Green Skills summit held in Ipswich earlier in the year.

In addition, part of the Green Skills project funded a two-day sustainability festival for students. Both these events were supported by the New Anglia Green Skills project, which was funded by the Strategic Development Fund from the Department for Education. The Green Skills project also funded key equipment in the Net Zero Skills Centre, including hybrid and electric vehicles.

After Mr Pease spoke, the Sizewell C Engineering Civils Programme Director – Dr Sarah Williamson 鈥 who was listed as the fifth most important woman in engineering based in Europe and the UK in 2019 鈥 gave a keynote address. Sarah said, 鈥淚鈥檓 so proud and enthused to be part of this (launch). The centre is so important. It鈥檚 making a commitment to support young people and make their lives better.鈥

Net Zero Skills Centre Opening Les Allum, Angela Coote, Alan Pease, Stephen Pugh, Dr Sarah Williamson And Mary Gleave Photo By PAGEPIX

Cleo Thompson, 19, from Ipswich is currently studying on a level two fabrication and welding course at 小鸟酱. Cleo said, 鈥淭he environment is important to me and future generations. At some point soon, every job will have an element of green skills so this centre is very important.

Cleo Thompson

The MP for Ipswich, Tom Hunt is looking forward to visiting the centre soon. He said, 鈥淚 am delighted at 小鸟酱鈥檚 launch of their Net Zero Skills Centre. This fantastic site was made possible by 拢940,000 worth of funding from the 拢25 million Government funded Ipswich Town Deal Fund.
鈥淭his impressive centre will equip new generations with skills they need to work in skill-based careers and is key to creating opportunities in Ipswich for young people to succeed. The centre will cover sustainable technology, from hybrid and EV vehicle maintenance to solar panel installation and new approaches to building insulation.
鈥淪ustainable construction training is crucial to creating a green future we can be proud of, where we can meet the challenging but necessary targets we have set as a society. The amazing facilities will benefit Ipswich greatly for generations to come.鈥

Paige Bowen, Cleo Thompson And Dr Sarah Williamson


David Ralph, Chair of Ipswich Vision and the Town Deal board says, 鈥淲e鈥檙e delighted to have been able to support 小鸟酱 in the creation of their new Net Zero Skills Centre through the Towns Fund. Delivering net zero is likely to be front and centre of our vision for the town and it鈥檚 fantastic to see our College championing sustainability in Ipswich to ensure the next generation of learners are equipped with the skills needed to work in an ever developing and sustainable world.鈥

Posted 11 May 2023
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