Cranfield bids to close energy skills gap with environmental programmes

Cranfield University is boosting its commitment to filling the demand for qualified environmental specialists with the addition of two new masters programmes. The MSc Environmental Engineering and MSc Environmental Risk […]

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By Kelvin Ross

Cranfield University is boosting its commitment to filling the demand for qualified environmental specialists with the addition of two new masters programmes.

The MSc Environmental Engineering and MSc Environmental Risk Management have been designed to meet the needs of businesses and organisations who wish to assess and manage environmental risk, and reach the forefront of technological advancement in the environmental arena.

It is expected the courses will make important contributions to filling the skills gap identified in reports published by the Environment Research Funders’ Forum last October and the CBI. The reports warned that the UK could run short of people able to tackle some of the urgent environmental challenges facing the country over the next 10 years. Failure to train and recruit staff with these specialist skills may also result in the UK failing to take advantage of the opportunity to become world-leaders in the environment sector.

Professor Simon Pollard, Dean of the Faculty of Environment, Science and Manufacturing, said: “Working closely with a range of organisations in the environment sector puts Cranfield in the unique position of being able to rapidly identify and respond to skills shortages in industry. These courses have been designed in consultation with partners to ensure we are able to develop the right people with the right skills to respond to these needs, and contribute towards building a more productive economy, and healthy and sustainable society.”

The new courses are unveiled as a survey of manufacturing professionals by Cranfield has identified that one of the biggest challenges to company success over the next two years is considered to be investments in innovation.

The survey canvassed opinions from senior manufacturing professionals from several sectors and organisations about their experiences of recent economic downturn. The survey asked a series of questions covering intended progression to recovery, future investments and general views about the manufacturing industry in the UK.

Professor Rajkumar Roy, Head of the Manufacturing Department at Cranfield, said: “The results demonstrate that a more collaborative and open innovation mindset is key to developing a strong future for manufacturing in the UK. A need to focus and invest on our current strengths and the supporting research that will underpin emerging technologies is critical to developing a sustainable competitive manufacturing sector. Support to and the growth of the SMEs is also essential for the economic recovery.”