Call for "Green Degrees" at Universities
May 30 2014
Britain's universities need to offer rigorous courses in waste management and pollution to fight the prospect of mad-made environmental disasters.
That's the view of a leading British waste company that says there are not enough graduates with the qualifications to help drag the UK into a sustainable future.
BusinessWaste.co.uk wants to see degrees and vocational courses which can help launch people into careers in industry and government aimed at reducing emissions and slashing back on Britain's shameful waste mountain.
"The UK is at a crucial point in its efforts to cut back on waste," said BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall, "But there are pitifully few young people emerging from our colleges with suitable qualifications."
While universities and academics are quite rightly concentrating efforts on man-made climate change and the devastating consequences that we are likely to see in the coming years, Business Waste is of the opinion that educational establishments should also be turning out graduates with the knowledge in how to deal with waste and pollution at the grass-roots level.
"Most academic efforts on climate change are being pushed toward global solutions," says Hall, "However, we still need people with the skills to deal with policy and solutions at national and local levels."
BusinessWaste.co.uk says that they're finding it hard to recruit suitably-qualified graduates. "They just don't like the idea of getting their hands dirty," says Mark Hall.
What's needed are not only administrators that produce good recycling and waste policy, but also entrepreneurs that come come up with ideas that turn waste into profit, Business Waste says.
"The biggest driver of man-made climate change has been profit-driven policies that encouraged waste and pollution," said Hall. "We want money-makers with the mindset to come up with profit from green policies. And these people are out there – they just need nudging in the right direction."
One such sector that BusinessWaste.co.uk recognises is that of energy recovery – the burning of waste that would otherwise go to landfill to generate heat and electricity.
"There are engineering skills involved here, and degrees that offer both these specific skills coupled with environmental awareness will help in one of the UK's largest growth areas," says Hall.
"The same goes for biomass. Energy from organic waste is a growth sector, and the industry needs bright minds to help it grow even faster."
With traditional sources of energy and resources becoming more scarce, universities have to prepare their graduates for a world that needs new skills and expertise.
The time to start teaching these skills is now, says Business Waste.
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