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Partnership working is delivering results and new opportunities in Energy and Carbon Management.

First published:
28 February 2023
Last updated:

New qualification to make critical net zero contribution

As Wales undergoes significant changes to achieve net zero, it is clear that education and upskilling will play a critical role.

To ensure that businesses and organisations can access the training required, ACT, Educ8 Training and Agored Cymru have partnered to develop a new qualification, which they believe will play an important role in Wales’ ability to achieve its ambitions.

Currently in development is a new Environmental Management level 3 qualification which will sit within a level 3 Energy and Carbon Management apprenticeship. It is designed so that businesses and organisations across Wales, large and small, can manage their own carbon footprints. Examining energy and carbon management in a holistic manner, the qualification looks set to benefit businesses of any kind and aims to support people in the management of environmental, energy and carbon impact.

ACT and Educ8 are well positioned to deliver the qualification. They both provide work-based training through apprenticeships for anyone over the age of 16 as well as Jobs Growth Wales+ which supports young people aged 16 to 18. Meanwhile, Agored Cymru is a Welsh qualification awarding body.

Matthew Burnett is ACT’s Head of Operations and Contracts:

Net zero training often gets associated with hybrid technology and engineering but that’s just part of how Wales will achieve its ambition. It will be crucial that every organisation is able to effectively manage their own carbon footprint. So, in collaboration with Educ8 and Agored Cymru, we are delivering a new qualification to meet this need.

And Matthew is confident that the new level 3, which will be the equivalent of an A-level, will be in huge demand:

All public sector organisations will have an environmental lead and every small business will also need these skills because the requirements to be sustainable will become more rigorous.

The new qualification, which is hoped will be approved by Qualifications Wales at the beginning of 2023, is designed to be applicable to all businesses and organisations, no matter their size.

Matthew added:

We’re approaching this from a mass market perspective. We have developed the qualification to be applicable to an NHS Trust with thousands of staff but also to a local company with just a handful of employees.

The course will help organisations analyse their own fuel efficiency and become more sustainable. We believe this could make a significant contribution to Wales’ net zero skills plan and we’re already seeing an increase in enquiries from employers for training of this kind.

In creating the new qualification, the training providers have worked with environmental sector experts including a firm that is currently helping a major multinational become more carbon efficient.

Introducing this type of apprenticeship means that people can gain vital new skills to help achieve a greener, cleaner Wales while undertaking a paid role:

Apprenticeships in Wales are broad, lifelong qualifications. Anyone can undertake this role as long as they fit the criteria. They would be expected to undertake workshops and study as well as on the job assessment and training.

University isn’t necessarily available or suited to everyone so we’re effectively opening up a new pathway to enable people to earn as you learn while gaining qualifications. And it’s vital that we are able to make this qualification as accessible as possible.

The aspiration is that employees will gain new skills that are increasingly important as we drive towards net zero and, in turn, they will be able to share their skills and knowledge to colleagues so that more people are aware of carbon footprints and net zero.

Judith Archer, Senior Product Development Manager at Agored Cymru, explains:

We’re really excited about the potential of this new qualification as we all have a need and a responsibility to consider energy usage and carbon emissions. That’s why it’s so important that this qualification applies to businesses and organisations of all sizes. And as part of an apprenticeship, it is also a flexible way in which to gain qualifications which benefit not only the individual but of course the workplace too.

Simone Hawken, Qualifications Manager at Educ8, adds:

This qualification has been written in recognition of Welsh Government's Net Zero Programme to ensure Wales becomes a net zero nation by 2050. It equips learners with the necessary knowledge, understanding and skills to enable them to become more sustainable and energy efficient at work and at home.

Global emissions are as high as they have ever been, and this qualification is key in helping us all to work and live more sustainably in future. Educ8 is proud to have worked in partnership with Agored Cymru, ACT and others on a qualification that will have such a positive impact on organisations and individuals across Wales.