From education to employment

Sustainability and Green Conference Thursday 26 January 2023– South Thames Colleges Group leading the way in the Green Skills Agenda 

On Thursday 26 January we held a Sustainability and Green Conference which provided an opportunity to join employers, key stakeholders, higher education and training providers to break down barriers and collaborate on solutions to address skills shortages in the sector. 

Our expert panel of external speakers included Chris Darling, Architect of the state-of-the-art Unilever buildings in Kingston – Darling Associates; Dave Weller, MD of Randy Cow – Fashion Designers; Kevin McCann, Head of Distributed Generation –Solar Energy UK; and Ioanna Rossi, Green Economic Recovery Lead, Regeneration & Economic Recovery, Kingston Council. 

Stella Raphael-Reeves, Vice principal, STCG commented: “Bringing together industry specialists to share their expertise and knowledge is paramount to developing the Green Skills agenda for all. The climate crisis is no longer a problem for the future, and we urgently need the skills to tackle it. We realise the importance of the environment and sustainability in the modern world and introducing several green skills training courses will help to provide the right people with the right skills for the future of the economy.”  

Kevin McCann, speaker for Solar Energy UK said: “This fantastic initiative will help Londoners join the capital’s thriving solar industry. London has a huge solar deployment target, and Solar Energy UK members are helping Londoners and their businesses to cut their bills and address climate change at the same time. We are delighted to be working with South Thames Colleges Group and the Mayor of London to deliver solar bootcamps that will provide an introduction to the solar sector. The demand we’ve already seen shows how attractive careers in green technology are.” 

Ioanna Rossi, speaker for Kingston Council said: “The critical learning from my work is that effective engagement with business is fundamental. There can be no green economy without green businesses.   

Kingston Council in Collaboration with Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, Kingston University, South Thames Colleges Group and local community lead organisations have established the Kingston Green Business Community. It is a free-to-join community of businesses and organisations of all sizes and sectors, which are based and/or operate in Kingston.  

 The Kingston Green Business Community aims to help members to save resources, as well as reducing their environmental impact and running costs. Collaborative work with academia, sustainability experts and other organisations will lead to the co-creation of solutions to reduce local emissions and access funding. You can find more information in our website: “ 

Forbes Low, Chief Executive Kingston Chamber of Commerce: “Thank you so much for hosting and energising the conversations today. It was a diverse mix of speakers and areas of the sustainable work – I have a particular interest in the fast fashion values (and how people can learn to change habits but very social economical). The solar growth was particularly thought provoking as it seemed to summarise the positives and negatives of green skills in one product”.  

Lena Read, OCN London: “Very diverse speakers and very interesting input, questions and discussion. Sustainability and green skills are here to stay. I am delighted that STCG under your (Stella) leadership are leading the way in London”. 

STCG will deliver green accredited and non-accredited courses to support the Regional and National green skills gap and agenda, providing a critical skill boost that will benefit employers, individuals, and the wider economy. We will coordinate, support, engage and collaborate with employers, SLP Green Academy objectives and delivery partners to deliver a portfolio of Green accredited and non-accredited courses. 

STCG is a finalist in the Kingston Borough Business Awards for the category of Outstanding Green Business Champion Award which recognises organisations who show an exceptional commitment to delivering the very best in sustainable initiatives. 


Notes to editors: 

South Thames Colleges Group (STCG) have successfully secured a bid to be responsible for enhancing green skills, developing the next generation of green skilled workers in the community. STCG will be leading on the electrification of vehicles and green technologies programme working in partnership with Croydon College, Richmond Upon Thames College, Orbital South Colleges Group, and the London Learning Consortium. 

South Thames Colleges Group (STCG) which was formed in August 2017 and is comprised of Carshalton College, Kingston College, Merton College and South Thames College. The Colleges are based in the boroughs of Kingston, Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth. 

STCG offers Full Time, Apprenticeships, Access, Undergraduate, Supported Learning and Adult Education programmes for young people and adult students across a broad range of subject sector areas.

Please contact: [email protected] 

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