From education to employment

Colleges’ green skills drive continues across London by teaming up with sustainability experts 

Having secured over £2.6m to improve the region’s supply of green skills, the roll-out of activity by the Green Academies Partnership project has begun. 

The project continues to build momentum with the appointment of a team of specialist green consultants. Crystal Associates Ltd will work with the 13 FE colleges* involved in the project to provide expert input in terms of developing new cutting-edge spaces and delivering specialised green-skills course content. 

This will include on-site assessments of current facilities and provision at each college, together with reviews of staff skills. Recommendations will then be made on how to further develop facility and course specifications, helping to identify opportunities to ensure local people can access green jobs of the future. 

This work will also inform the development of seven green lab training centres, which are a central part of the project. Work on these has now started and they are expected to be up and running for September 2023. 

The collaboration of 13 FE colleges, 11 Local Authorities, over 30 employers and five chambers of commerce is being led by London South East Colleges and funded by the DfE’s Local London Strategic Development Fund. 

Dr Sam Parrett CBE, Group Principal and CEO of London South East Colleges, says: 

“Never has there been a more important time for employers, colleges and Local Authorities to work together to support people into careers. The green skills industry offers so many opportunities both now and in the year ahead. 

“It’s encouraging that the DfE recognises this and is investing in such important projects. By working with industry specialists in this way, every college involved can ensure it develops the most effective green skills curriculum – supporting local industry with skills as well as providing learners with access to exceptional job opportunities.” 

 Mark Jenkins, Director of Crystal Associates, says: 

“Crystal Associates is delighted to lead the Green Academies Partnership industry consultation.  Our team looks forward to working closely with each of the colleges to facilitate wider industry engagement and develop bespoke strategies for future course provision, facilities and staff training.  

“This initiative will play a vital contribution in ensuring the region is well placed to provide the skills and tools for local people to access the green jobs of the future.’ 

Also, to ensure green skills planning is embedded in the curriculum, every college within the network will benefit from executive training, supplied by consultancy Just Ask Scarlett. 

Mark O’Reilly, MD of Just Ask Scarlett, says: 

“The Just Ask Scarlett team is very excited to be working with the Green Academies Partnership in helping to develop the workforce needed to meet the region’s sustainability commitments.  

“We have to ensure that we have the correct skills pipeline to deliver on a wide range of sustainability initiatives and the GAP network of colleges will form a fundamental part of delivering green and low-carbon skills across the south east.” 

Going forward, the project group will be meeting regularly to share best practice and maximise resources and knowledge in the drive to strengthen green skills delivery across London. 

Other activity will include ensuring that all partners have dedicated, technology rich green skills teaching and learning space together with the specialist equipment needed. There will also be a comprehensive investment by all partners in low carbon technology, renewables and design technologies. This will provide a comprehensive network across the Local London Area with consistent, high quality vocational skills environments. 

Newham College is one of the project’s key FE partners. Paul Stephen, Principal and Chief Executive, says:  

“Collaborating with colleges and key sub-regional stakeholders on such a significant industry growth area is a clear win-win for learners and employers. 

“We are delighted to be involved in such innovative work, which is helping us provide our community with access to the many opportunities on offer in the green skills sector, both now and in the future.” 

For more information about the project, contact Andrew Cox at London South East Colleges: [email protected]


* The full list of partners involved in this project are:


  • London South East Colleges 
  • New City College 
  • Newham College 
  • Barnet and Southgate College 
  • Waltham Forest College 
  • Barking and Dagenham College 
  • Capital City College Group
  • Capel Manor College 
  • New Vic 6th Form College 
  • Shooters Hill 6th Form 
  • Leyton College 6th Form 
  • St George Monoux College 
  • Lewisham College 

Other Partners: 

  • BusinessLDN
  • MCS certified

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