June 2024

Green Construction Advisory Panel Midlands launches at University

By Carrie Mok

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The British Association of Construction Heads (BACH) has launched a collaborative programme with the Green Construction Advisory Panel (GCAP) to roll it out across the UK, with GCAP Midlands rolled out at University College Birmingham. 

GCAP is a member-led committee comprising of building services, housing, and construction businesses, supported by government agencies, charities, and training providers across the UK. GCAP aims to promote, enhance, and develop sustainable training and education opportunities for the housing and construction industries. Our mission is to close the skills gap and create entry pathways into green careers. We aspire to educate both the current and future workforce on adapting to emerging technologies, considering environmental impacts, and helping the industry meet net-zero targets.

Established by Exeter College two years ago, GCAP has successfully and impactfully brought together employers, training providers, manufacturers and other regional stakeholders in the South West to drive the ‘Green Skills’ agenda locally. This has created a template model which is replicable not only across the UK but also internationally, with the Nepalese Government embedding the GCAP model into policy.

To date, over thirty training providers throughout the UK have already committed to GCAP, including local authorities and charities. GCAP currently boasts nineteen regional Centre's who will collaborate with local stakeholders to understand more about the skills landscape and work towards action-based outcomes. 

GCAP Midlands will sit alongside the curriculum in the University's Department of Sustainable Construction, which provides essential green construction skills training that embeds sustainability, while futureproofing workforces at the heart of its delivery. 

Deborah Bunce of GCAP Midlands and Head of Sustainable Construction at University College Birmingham stated, 

"The establishment of GCAP Midlands will empower the region and bridge the green construction skills gap, boosting sustainable training and education opportunities for the construction industry. At University College Birmingham, we are already committed to developing green technology and retrofit skills for current and future learners within our state-of-the-art Centre for Sustainable Construction, and we look forward to enhancing the green construction skills landscape with GCAP locally and nationally with businesses, employers and other training providers."

BACH will be responsible for establishing the GCAP model across the UK via its established structure in England & Wales and its contacts in Northern Ireland and Scotland over the next three years and beyond.

Mike Blakeley of GCAP and Exeter College said:

“GCAP has had a huge influence on our approach to ‘Green Skills’, careers engagement and collaboration with regards to the College’s approach to Net Zero. It has grown from 12 founder members to over 160 and expanding it nationally is a natural evolution. We know that the impact of BACH’s support in doing this will be both significant and positive.”

Graham Hasting-Evans, President of BACH and chief executive of international skills solutions provider NOCN Group, added:

“To address the existential challenge of climate change we need a radical change in skills across the whole of the construction workforce, affecting both existing occupations and the new ‘green jobs’ which are rapidly emerging. This cannot be run centrally; local areas and employers are best placed to drive the modularized changes needed as and when they are required in a practical and pragmatic way. 

“GCAP has demonstrated the great benefit of this ‘bottom-up’ approach and we at BACH are delighted to be able to support rolling this out across the UK.”

BACH was established 40 years ago to bring together Further Education Colleges and other providers that deliver construction training in building, civil engineering and business service engineering. Over the last two years, BACH members have been collaboratively focusing on the challenge of ‘Net Zero’ through the development of ‘Green Skills’ and the national roll out of GCAP is a key next step in this initiative.

Explore the courses available in our School of Engineering, Sustainable Construction and Digital or find out more about sustainability at University College Birmingham.  

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