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Green Skills

Suffolk New College is working to embed sustainability and green skills across all areas of our business, guided by our ambitious Sustainability Strategy

Visitors looking at an illustration about Green Skills at the 2023 Conference

New Anglia Green Skills project

Working with Colleges across Norfolk and Suffolk and culminating in an acclaimed Conference, highlights of our activity in this Strategic Development Fund 2022-23 project included –

  • A partnership project with the University of Suffolk to develop sustainable planters and planting schemes to support research work at the University’s sustainable SmartHouse at BT Adastral Park.
  • A controlled environment hydroponics system to introduce horticulture and agriculture students to the techniques behind vertical farming.
  • A Sustainability Festival for students at Suffolk Rural on 27 March and at the Ipswich Campus on 28 March, with a range of fun and educational activities on a sustainability theme.
  • All teaching staff participated in a ‘Back to the Floor’ day on 10 February 2023 with a sustainability theme to support their teaching practice.
  • 28 staff have undertaken projects to investigate new approaches to incorporating sustainability into the College Curriculum

NET ZERO Skills Centre

The Suffolk New College Net Zero Skills Centre was launched on 10th May 2023 with new facilities for teaching and training in key growth areas for green skills.

Our Net Zero Main Studio features sustainable heating technologies, including air and ground source heat pumps, and solar thermal and solar PV technologies as well as a meeting and training space for Sustainable Construction supported with VR technology.

The Net Zero Hybrid EV Studio houses cars and high-tech training equipment for all the skills needed to understand and maintain hybrid and EV cars.

Electric boilers and EV charging station equipment are housed in the Net Zero Electrical Studio.

All relevant 16-18 learners will now have green skills and the latest technologies embedded into their learning and the Centre will also be a focus for a new programme of Green Skills for Business courses.

Demonstrating electrical and hybrid vehicles at the Net Zero Skills Centre

Green Skills Conference

Suffolk New College was proud to host the New Anglia Green Skills Conference on 15 March 2023 at the Hold in Ipswich on behalf of all five Norfolk and Suffolk FE Colleges to share expertise and ideas for embedding sustainability across all curriculum areas.

The New Anglia Green Skills project ended in the summer 2023 and was a collaborative project across the five Norfolk and Suffolk FE colleges, funded by a £2.75m grant from the Department for Education Strategic Development Fund.

The Partners in the project were City College Norwich, Suffolk New College, West Suffolk College, East Coast College and the College of West Anglia.

The Green Skills Team at the 2023 Conference

Embedding sustainability in all we do

All our learners across all programmes now have sustainability embedded in their teaching and learning.

A regular programme of CPD project opportunities for staff enable them to develop their teaching practice in this area, and the College will shortly be offering Carbon Literacy training to all staff.

Our License to Teach and other teacher training programmes feature sustainability as a key theme. The Staff Representative Group and Student Parliament feature this theme in their work, and annual staff and learner Sustainability Awards were established in 2023

Suffolk Rural: Farm to Fork

Our farm at Suffolk Rural showcases and teaches sustainable land management.  The farm has LEAF accreditation and is managed on sustainable land management principles.

Our horticulture team ran an award-winning sustainable garden using recycled materials at the 2023 Suffolk Show and have set up a vertical farm which will supply produce to our new Farm Shop and our hospitality team.

Animals at Suffolk Rural have benefitted from new enclosures made with our learners from recycled wood, and we are developing our woodland and wildlife gardens on sustainable principles with our learners.

Suffolk Centre for the Culinary Arts, our hospitality and catering department, use Suffolk Rural farm produce in our catering and teach learners and businesses how to select and use local food

Local Skills Improvement Fund – watch this space

Suffolk New College is leading the Local Skills Improvement Fund project for Norfolk and Suffolk.

Green skills activity includes further investment in our Net Zero Skills Centre, transformations of outdoor space into a haven for wildlife at Suffolk Rural, more CPD projects for teaching staff to develop their practice in innovative ways, as well as leading the partnership in the development of a Green Skills Careers Inspiration Zone for County shows and skills events.

Learner wearing PPE holding rope.