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Funding will help Welsh education institutions reach net-zero

£65m of funding will help colleges and universities in Wales to reach net-zero. 

The package, announced today by the Welsh Government, includes £46m to help post-16 education to reduce their carbon footprint and improve their digital connectivity. 

Education providers will be able to use the funding to make improvements to infrastructure, such as converting to LED lighting and increasing the number of electric vehicles (EV) charging points. 

New training materials will also be developed for college students to learn about net-zero, this will be adapted for the wide range of courses available in further education. 

person holding pencil near laptop computer

For example, students on hairdressing and beauty courses may learn about the origin of the chemicals they use and disposing of them in an environmentally-friendly way and students on construction courses will learn about renewable energy and retrofitting. 

Further education providers can also use the funding to meet the increased costs of consumable materials, such as bricks and timber, which are used in many vocational college courses, and to implement mentoring programmes and increased mental health support in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, said: ‘We are committed as a government to fight climate change. Our colleges and universities have an important role within the national effort to reach net zero, as major employers across Wales and seats of learning for workers who will apply their learning in high-skilled professions.

‘Colleges and universities have worked tremendously hard in enabling learning to continue, while keeping students and staff safe.

‘We’ve committed to provide £50m of additional funding for post-16 education in the next financial year. This includes a focus on our Renew and Reform programme and doing everything we can to enable our young people to reach their full potential.’

In related news, in a speech in the House of Lords last September, a member argued that teaching children about climate change will help them to see through greenwashing.

Photo by Scott Graham

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