From education to employment

College launches pioneering Green Skills Lab to train the next generation of industry experts

An innovative new training space, designed to equip people with green industry skills, has been officially opened at London South East Colleges’ Bromley Campus today.

The pioneering facilities house nine Renewable Technology Training Booths, covering three key areas of: Air Source Heat Pumps, Solar Thermal, Solar PV, Battery and Electric Vehicle Charging.   

The Green Skills Lab is one of the first in the region to be launched. It is one of eight being developed in London colleges as part of a £2.4m grant from the government’s Strategic Development Fund.  

London South East Colleges has led the collaboration of 13 Further Education Colleges, Local Authorities and employers (the Local London Green Skills Partnership) to secure this funding, which is aimed at improving the provision of green skills training across the region.   

This is to meet the growing skills needs of employers within this sector, while ensuring that people of all ages and backgrounds can access fulfilling employment opportunities in this exciting sector.  

Underpinning the capital investment is a brand-new curriculum, which has been developed in consultation with staff, employers and other stakeholders. This aims to equip students with the skills they need to support local (and wider) economic growth, increase productivity and secure a pipeline of skilled employees for businesses.  

Group Principal and CEO of London South East Colleges, Dr Sam Parrett CBE, opened the event, welcoming guests to the new Lab. She said:  

“I am absolutely delighted to be launching such fantastic training facilities, which will be of huge benefit to our local community and beyond. The demand for green skills across the country is increasing dramatically. As a college, we want to ensure people can gain employment in this exciting industry and make the most of the opportunities it offers.  

“This new lab puts us at the forefront of green skills training. We are focused on attracting not only young people, starting out in their careers, but also adults who may be interested in re-training/up-skilling or re-skilling in green technology.   

“We are grateful to our partner colleges, stakeholders and employers for helping us to secure the funding for this exciting project. Making our plans a reality is hugely exciting and we are looking forward to seeing both current and future students benefit from the investment.”  

Guests at today’s event had the opportunity to see the Lab in action, with tutors and students demonstrating the new technology.  

Cory Ricketts, Social Value Manager at Mace, was one of the employer representatives attending the event. He said:  

“The construction industry has a skills challenge, especially in relation to green technology. We need to look at how traditional skills and roles can fit new requirements – and this green skills hub will help do this. There is so much more to the sector than hard hats and hi-vis jackets!” 

Mark Jenkinson, CEO of Crystal Associates, also raised the issue of growing demand for green skills. He called on employers to get involved with supporting the training of the next generation of much needed experts, adding:  

“This, and the other green skills labs, are fantastic training facilities. We need to leverage this and make it as easy as possible for employers to engage and play their part.”

Harry Porter, a Level 2 Plumbing student attended the event. He said: 

“Green Skills are important because gas is being phased out and when this happens, we will be relying on green energy.” 

London South East Colleges offers a wide range of courses linked to Green Skills and construction for people all ages, abilities and experience. For more information, visit here.  

To find out more about the Local London Green Skills Partnership and the colleges and employers involved, visit here. 

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