IEMA and BRE form educational collaboration to plug sustainability skills gap

The Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and BRE's training body, the BRE Academy, have formed a new partnership to develop sustainability training courses with a focus on the built environment.

(L-R): Pauline Traetto (director of the BRE Academy); Tim Balcon (CEO of IEMA) and BRE's Peter Bonfield

(L-R): Pauline Traetto (director of the BRE Academy); Tim Balcon (CEO of IEMA) and BRE's Peter Bonfield

The agreement, signed yesterday (12 May), will see industry-relevant training courses embedded into Higher and Further Education programmes, as the effects of global warming are felt on buildings and infrastructures worldwide.

IEMA chief executive Tim Balcon said: “Training and education provision is a key service which we provide for our 15,000-strong global membership, who are focussed on driving more sustainable practices and standards across all sectors.

“This collaboration with the BRE Academy will enable us to offer new skills programmes with a focus on the built environment which plays such an integral part of every business and industry as well as the economy.”

Targeted training

BRE Academy director Pauline Traetto said “As an organisation BRE shares very similar goals and values to IEMA. We want to make a positive difference and reduce adverse impacts on the environment for the benefit of people and the commercial world.

"We are delighted to work with IEMA in this way and develop targeted and applicable training programmes for educational institutes and industry.”

The partnership will play a key role in IEMA’s ongoing ‘Skills for a Sustainable Economy:  Preparing for the Perfect Storm’ campaign which aims to highlight the critical need for environment and sustainability skills in businesses worldwide.

Perfect storm

Last October, an IEMA survey found that a mere 13% of businesses were confident they have the skills to successfully compete in a modern sustainable economy. This is limiting companies' ability to take advantage of the economic opportunities offered by more sustainable actions, the organisation said. 

It subsequently launched a detailed action plan at the House of Commons late last year; urging businesses and Government to fill this sustainability skills gap. 

The new courses will be embedded into both Higher and Further Education programmes from next year, to enable graduates to have market ready qualifications and support employers in their recruitment selection process.

Luke Nicholls


| education | training


Energy efficiency & low-carbon
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