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Green & Sustainable Development AMBITION for FE & Skills

17/12/2021 Blog
Green & Sustainable Development AMBITION for FE & Skills

Alex Miles, Managing Director of Yorkshire Learning Providers has written a blog for the YNY LEP to share how a green & sustainable ambition has been created for the Further Education and Skills Sector.

Alex Miles, Managing Director of Yorkshire Learning Providers has written a blog for the YNY LEP to share how a green & sustainable ambition has been created for the Further Education and Skills Sector.

A Green & Sustainable development AMBITION has been developed by Yorkshire Learning Providers, in partnership with Craven College and YNY LEP to support FE & Skills organisations with their institutional & curriculum response.

Aim – to provide an opportunity for a region wide response & action plan for FE organisations to work towards a Greener, Fairer, Stronger economy by adopting green skills and sustainability practices as part of operational and curriculum development.

Rationale - Across the UK, and locally for Yorkshire, we are in a state of climate emergency and education is a key tool to help combat this issue by providing the knowledge, skills, awareness and action that empowers people to transform themselves and transform societies.

Recent Education & Training Foundation research completed to review how sustainability is understood across FE colleagues, highlights the following findings -

74% of teaching staff feel that they haven’t received adequate training to embed sustainability in their work nor to educate learners about sustainability or climate change.

85% of respondents agree that FE & Training sector has a valuable role to play in the achievement of sustainability goals.

68% feel that the current post-16 education system does not adequately educate learners on sustainability issues.

94% believe that all UK learners should be taught about sustainability issues.

35% agree that the curriculum requirements support delivery of sustainability issues.

24% didn’t know what their institutions approach to sustainability is.

A Sustainability Skills Survey completed by NUS how much students care about sustainability with approximately 80% of students wanting their institution to be doing more on sustainable development and Around 60% of students want to learn more about sustainability.

How can FE & Skills organisations respond? 

Utilise the Green & Sustainable Development AMBITION to hold ourselves and each other to account when reviewing & action planning green & SD matters into institutional & curriculum development.

Organisations who sign up to the AMBITION will Identify Green & Sustainability projects and activities with learners and apprentices to engage with and implement actions for improvement and impact.  Examples of activities can include -

·        Completing waste audits

·        Adopting a recycle, reuse, reduce approach

·        Signing up to climate change pledges

·        Joining local groups or providing opportunities for learners to have a platform to share           their ideas or voices

·        Review digital transformation opportunities

·        Undertake Green challenges

·        Complete transformation activities

·        Provide opportunities for learners / apprentices to work collaboratively on projects

·        Hold learner voice sessions to gain valuable insight into sustainability matters across             a  range of sectors, ages and levels.

·        Draft sustainable development strategy for employers

How can we support others in this sector?

Across YNY we are committed to ‘greening up’ the curriculum, ensuring our FE & Skills sector has the opportunities to respond to our climate emergency and embed into the curriculum.

Develop an Organisation-wide response & strategy to responding to sustainability covering different departments and curriculum areas as well as operational and internal response.

Education for Sustainable Development implementation health check to aid training organisation to self-assess and implement changes and improvements to sustainable development.

This AMBITION will provide FE & Skills organisations support, resources, case studies and guidance to help tackle the green agenda and improve responses across the region.  

We can all benefit from building successful long-term relationships with partners sub-regionally and regionally that support the green & sustainable development needs – this AMBITION will allow organisations who sign up to collaborate and engage with a range organisations & groups that provide a platform to learn, share & develop this agenda.  

Working collaboratively we can ensure sustainable development across the region is given the priority and recognition it requires to be impactful.  This AMBITION will help raise the quality & delivery of learning standards, curriculum development and opportunities for our learners to gain valuable value added experiences.

The AMBITION is broken into 4 pillars of work –

·        Transforming Institutions

·        Embedding & Promoting in the curriculum

·        Learners acting as agents of change

·        Supporting the sector to influence change

Next Steps – 

As of 15.12.21 we have over 20 FE & Skills organisations who have signed up & are committed to working together & sharing updates and practice.

Review GSD AMBITION & sign up to start receiving support and responding to this important agenda – please contact

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