Weymouth College has received a commendation for its commitment to sustainability and tackling the climate crisis.

The Association of College’s prestigious Beacon Awards recognises the best and most innovative practice in further education colleges across the UK, aiming to showcase the far-reaching impact of colleges on their students and the communities they serve.

The college was commended for The Incenco Award for Education for Sustainable Development, following the launch of its new ‘Code Red’ initiative raising awareness of all aspects of the environmental crisis and embedding sustainability in the culture of the college.

Julia Howe, Principal and CEO, commented: “Being based at the heart of Dorset’s historic coastline, the importance of tackling the climate crisis is highlighted to us here at Weymouth College every day. 

“This has become embedded in our decision-making and day-to-day operations at the college, from cutting carbon emissions through sustainable building practices, to improving student and staff understanding through initiatives such as our annual Environment Week, ‘Back to the Rack’ recycled fashion shop and tree-planting schemes.

“We’re delighted that the Association of College’s Beacon Awards has recognised the positive and innovative steps we have taken towards creating a sustainable future for Weymouth College and the wider community."

Last week’s commendation coincided with the initiative’s annual Environment Week where they hosted more than 60 talks by expert guest speakers, highlighting environmental issues to students and staff.

Local environmental organisations also set up stalls in the college canteen during lunchtimes including Dorset Council and the Green Party, Dorset Coast Forum, Extinction Rebellion, Weymouth Climate Hub, Dorset Wildlife Trust, the RSPCA and Animal Aid.

As part of the initiative, Weymouth College also offers free green skills courses after receiving funding from the government’s Local Skills Improvement Fund.

It was among colleges, universities and other training providers across the UK recently selected to receive a share of the £200million funding pot to help local people gain the skills needed to launch careers in the green sector and support the local economy.

The college is now offering fully funded short courses aimed at upskilling those with existing electrical or plumbing qualifications to prepare for a greener and more sustainable future for Dorset.