Sustainable living report backed by Swindon and Wiltshire Institute of Technology

By Barrie Hudson - 17 June 2022

BusinessCollege & Higher EducationEducation
  • The report was hailed by Michelle Donelan, Minister for Higher and Further Education

    The report was hailed by Michelle Donelan, Minister for Higher and Further Education

A new report highlighting crucial sustainable energy issues has the backing of a key Swindon organisation.

The Swindon and Wiltshire Institute of Technology (IoT) is part of a new national network working to solve the big issues facing society today.

The network's new report is called The skills to succeed: Meeting the country’s evolving technical skills needs. Findings include:

- 68 percent of people in the South West would consider a home to be worth more money if it were sustainably constructed

- The majority of people in the South West currently use electricity - 85 percent - and gas - 70 percent - in their homes, but if cost were not a factor 55 percent would opt for renewable, sustainable or green sources of energy

Neil Brayshaw, Interim Managing Director of the Swindon and Wiltshire Institute of Technology says: "This report evidences the challenges particularly facing the construction and engineering sectors in supporting the region's building needs and aspirations. 

"With its high-quality courses and apprenticeships, employer relationships and state of the art technology, our IoT is well- placed to help deliver the skills that are essential to this."

Michelle Donelan, Minister for Higher and Further Education, said:“Institutes of Technology are not only playing a critical role in helping to close skills gaps in key sectors such as sustainable construction, but crucially, they are providing people with high quality technical training that leads to good jobs, helping to level up opportunity across our country.

“The need to support sectors such as advanced manufacturing and engineering, construction and digital looks set to only grow and with their close ties to employers, Institutes of Technology will be the driving force behind ensuring the workforce is ready for future technological change and changing working practices.”

However, despite the public's appetite for greener living, the report outlines that a workforce with the right technical skills are needed to make it a reality. 

For instance, waste is a major issue in the construction industry, generating around three fifths of total UK waste in 2018. Modern methods of construction like 8D Building Information Modelling (BIM) can make the process more efficient as a lot of the planning and preparation work can be done digitally, but more workers with the skillset to use and read the equipment are needed. 

Additionally, employment in the wind industry is expected to grow by 170% by 2026, so a pipeline of talent with the skills to work with offshore wind energy technology is needed to achieve the full potential of the resource.

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