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South West College

The Enniskillen-based college is one of the largest vocational colleges in the United Kingdom, with 22,000 full and part-time learners, and has a strong focus on sustainability, both in the way it is managed and the courses offered.

Develop personally, professionally and academically

Turing Scheme funding will pay for the Global Learning Opportunities Boosts Employability (GLOBE) project which will send 16 Level 3 students on exchanges to undertake the globally recognised Passivhaus Tradesperson course.
Passivhaus is a voluntary standard for energy efficiency in building which originated in Germany 30 years ago and is now widely adopted around the world.
“This course is aimed at future construction professionals looking to learn the practical skills required to build to the Passivhaus standard,” said Dr Barry McCarron, Head of Business Development at SWC. “It will include a combination of classroom lectures as well as practical work and experience
“The college’s core vision is to develop people and achieve potential. The Turing Scheme is a vehicle for fulfilling this vision by growing international mobility opportunities. This will support young people to develop personally, professionally and academically, and encourage them to achieve their educational and professional potential.”

Industry and site visits

Eight students from SWC’s School of Built Environment will undertake a three-week placement in Pittsburgh at Pennsylvania State University (PSU) which delivers a ‘Green Building’ programme and is a United Nations International Centre of Excellence for high-performance buildings.
“The primary focus of the visit will be the delivery of the Passivhaus accredited tradesperson course. The training will be delivered at PSU’s Energy Innovation Centre (EIC), a dedicated facility for developing technologies and skills to support the clean and sustainable energy markets,” said Dr McCarron.
“SWC students will work alongside peers from Pittsburgh’s vo-tech (vocational-technical) and community college programmes. The programme will be complemented by a wide range of activities including industry and site visits linked to sustainable construction, such as Pittsburgh’s International Centre of Excellence on High-Performance Buildings.”
SWC students visiting PSU will also have access to the Global Building Network, specialising in high-performance building research and education, and go on site visits to the Frick Environmental Centre, Pittsburgh’s world-class centre for environmental education.

Clear vision for cooperation

A further eight students will travel to Toronto, Canada, to participate in Humber College’s 2022 Global Passivhaus Construction Programme. They will also study the Passivhaus Tradesperson course while advancing their knowledge of green building initiatives in the country.
“The course will centre around an in-depth study of Building NX, a retrofit of an existing building which is one of Canada’s most sustainable buildings,” said Dr McCarron. “It is also the first retrofit project in Canada to achieve the Zero Carbon (ZCB) Design Certification from the Canadian Green Building Council.”
Both SWC’s chosen partner universities are renowned for their innovative approaches to the green economy and have strong synergies with SWC in the field of renewable energy and sustainable construction.
“There was a clear vision for cooperation between our like-minded institutions, particularly on a student cooperation project that would enable learners to gain an international perspective of green construction”, said Dr McCarron. “These universities offer SWC access to networks, facilities and faculties that students would not be able to access from the UK.”
Read more about vocational education and training opportunities under the Turing Scheme on our dedicated webpage.

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