Supporting sustainability in the aftermath of COVID-19: @NCFE and @_LearningCurve launch new qualification
While issues surrounding climate change and sustainable ways of living have been becoming increasingly prominent in recent years, the unforeseen silver lining to the recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has undoubtedly been society’s renewed appreciation of our green spaces.
The unprecedented wake-up call that COVID-19 has afforded us by demonstrating the positive impact that just a few short weeks of limited travel and an altogether slower pace of life has had on pollution levels across the world has brought the issue firmly back into the spotlight.
To support employers to maintain their sustainable practices as staff return to work from lockdown, as well as help individuals to better understand their own roles and responsibilities as we strive to improve our environment, education and skills charity, NCFE, in partnership with education provider, Learning Curve Group, has launched a new technical qualification in Understanding Climate Change and Environmental Awareness.
The Level 2 Certificate is designed to cater for the demand for environmentally savvy workforces. The qualification will equip learners with the necessary knowledge and skills that will empower them to play a defining role at the heart of this fundamental transition to more environmentally sustainable business models as we continue to push towards a low carbon economy, while also improving their own future employability prospects.
Employers have been under increased pressure to become more environmentally responsible and reduce their carbon footprint for a number of years, with motivating factors including changes in government legislation, customer demand and enhanced financial performance witnessed through efficiency savings.
As these sustainability benchmarks are likely to change yet again in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, it was felt that there was a need for a qualification which would help employers to meet these new requirements as the economy gets back on its feet.
David Gallagher, Chief Executive at NCFE, commented: “At NCFE, we are committed to our core purpose to promote and advance learning to help individuals to improve their life chances, but also where possible, to benefit the wider economy.
“Climate change is one of the most significant political and economic topics of our generation that is gaining increasing momentum at a global level. Clean growth and carbon reduction is a key government priority, with entire funding streams being dedicated to investment in renewable energy and sustainable practices, both nationally and locally.
“As employers give more strategic consideration to their environmental impact and take practical steps to optimise their operations, upskilling employees with the knowledge and skills that they need to effectively carry out their responsibilities will become a key priority, which is why we are delighted to bring our new qualification to the market.”
Learning Curve Group, which operates as NCFE’s premier partner, first approached the Awarding Organisation with the idea for the qualification in November 2019 and has been working closely with NCFE and other partners throughout its development.
Brenda McLeish, Chief Executive Officer at Learning Curve Group, said: “We are delighted about the launch of yet another qualification with our partners at NCFE. This qualification is hugely topical and a great example of how knowledge can really support positive change.
“We’re really looking forward to seeing employers embrace this qualification, and the wider impacts this will have both environmentally and economically. Our vision is to transform lives through learning, and by educating individuals on the impacts of climate change we can work towards a better future.”
NCFE and Learning Curve Group consulted with a number of leading environmental practitioners to create the content for the new qualification.
Anna-Lisa Mills, Director – Sustainability & Carbon Expertise at True North Sustainability, commented: “I was thrilled to help develop this qualification. The unfolding climate emergency is the greatest threat we face as a species, the impacts of the changing climate are already starting to be felt locally and globally. It is critical that we build the knowledge and skills needed to address the emergency, reduce our carbon footprint and prepare for a low carbon future.”
Nigel Rayment, Director at Magnified Learning, commented: “NCFE has led the way in sustainable development qualifications, developing its first awards in the early 2000s. In the intervening years our challenges have deepened, with atmospheric concentrations of CO2 emissions still increasing, global production of plastic doubling, and biodiversity loss continuing apace.
“The world is seeing new levels of public awareness and concern about the environment, and the role played by education in this has been huge. NCFE’s continued commitment to developing the knowledge and skills for sustainability in our workforce has never been more crucial, and I’m proud and delighted to have played a part in contributing to its work.”
Comprising three units in total: ‘Understanding Climate Change, Sustainability and Environmental Protection’, ‘Understanding Industry and the Environment’ and ‘Understanding Resource Efficiency and Waste Management’, the Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Climate Change and Environmental Awareness qualification is available for registrations from 1 June 2020, the qualification is suitable for learners aged 14 and over.
For more information, visit our dedicated QualHub site