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Striving for a green future with NCFE's sustainability qualifications

As we continue to shine a light on sustainability, we’re keen to hear from those who are delivering and benefiting from our green-focused qualifications. We spoke with Paola Palazzo, Environmental Awareness tutor at Strive Training, to learn more about their experience of delivering our qualifications.

Specialising in courses for adult learners, Strive Training is an independent training provider that helps individuals to upskill across a range of different areas, enabling them to get back into work. They offer our Level 1 Award in Environmental Awareness and Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Climate Change and Environmental Awareness to individuals wanting to gain a qualification in sustainable practices.

When asked why Strive Training chose to deliver our qualifications in sustainability, tutor Paola explained: “Both courses offered by NCFE lead to a qualification which our students value, and both certificates are definitely achievable for students who show motivation and commitment.

“The Level 1 award is a great introduction to the subject matter and is of great value to less knowledgeable or unconfident students, while the Level 2 qualification has a very comprehensive programme which allows students to explore many issues and solutions. It also includes sections on environmental legislation and organisational tools and frameworks, which are invaluable for students seeking “green” employment.”

Preparing for the green revolution

Paola says that the individuals who choose to study these environmental qualifications often include those who want to enhance their chances of finding a more green-oriented career, who are also committed to leading more environmentally-friendly lives and raising awareness of sustainability practices.

Herbie is a Strive Training student, who is currently taking the Level 2 qualification. Speaking about his experience, he said: “I’ve found this qualification extremely informative and beneficial, giving a clear understanding of climate change and environmental awareness and how to practically apply my learnings and understanding to everyday life and to work.”

Discussing how she’s found the delivery of the qualifications, Paola said that the provision of the student workbooks and tutor guide by NCFE has been of great help – both for assessment purposes and in initially devising the qualification programme.

She explained: “It’s been a very positive experience. The programmes are well designed and informative, and students leave feeling their understanding and awareness have greatly improved and that they can apply their newly acquired knowledge in everyday life.”

Agreeing with Paola, Herbie shared just one of the ways in which he’s been able to apply the learnings he’s gained to his daily life: “In December 2021, I had an interview with an automotive organisation and was confident enough to pose questions regarding the organisation’s stance on the environment, as well as their sustainability goals. It was applying my learnings to a real-life situation instantly.”

Looking toward the future

Paola says that since studying these qualifications, her students have reported a vast improvement in their understanding of environmental issues and pledge to apply what they’ve learned to go on to live more sustainably.

Many have progressed onto a Green Career Employability course which Strive Training provide, with some going on to study other higher-level courses and qualifications specialising in the area.

Paola continues: “Several students have been inspired to pursue a green career and have taken steps towards this. Two students have decided to specialise in green accountancy, another has enrolled in a micro-degree to pursue a career in conservation, and another is planning to pursue a career in sustainable farming.

“I would recommend NCFE qualifications to others as I have thoroughly enjoyed delivering both levels and find the programmes are well structured, comprehensive, and easy to follow. Student feedback has generally been very positive.”

Herbie also feels that his experience of the qualification has been hugely positive: “I’ve gained so much applicable knowledge and am grateful to my tutor for their patience, experience, professionalism, and practical as well as theoretical explanations. I’d highly recommend both this qualification and my tutor.”

To learn more about our approach to sustainability in education or to find the full list of qualifications that we offer in this area, visit our Sustainability hub.

I’ve found this qualification extremely informative and beneficial, giving a clear understanding of climate change and environmental awareness and how to practically apply my learnings and understanding to everyday life and to work.

Herbie, student studying our Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Climate Change and Environmental Awareness
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