University of Limerick has teamed up with Skillnet Ireland on a partnership to launch the first enterprise-led micro-credential programmes dedicated to climate action in Ireland.
The stackable micro-credentials, developed by Skillnet Ireland’s Climate Ready Academy, will enable participants to develop tailored sustainability charters and action plans for their organisation across the areas of energy, sustainability and waste and circularity while also achieving recognised third-level certification on the National Framework of Qualifications.
The micro-credentials may be stacked, over time, leading to a full Level 7 award accredited by UL.
UL played a critical role in the delivery of the MicroCreds national project, led by the Irish Universities Association (IUA) and delivered in partnership with each of the seven founding IUA universities. Its vision is to empower lifelong learning in Ireland by re-imagining learner’s relationship with education through agile, accessible and bite-sized qualifications: micro-credentials.
Micro-credentials are small, accredited courses designed to meet the demands of learners, enterprise, and organisations.
The programmes launched by Skillnet and UL are the ‘Energy Leaders’, the ‘Waste and Circular Economy Leaders’ and the ‘Sustainability Leaders’ programmes which are designed to incentivise and support employees in developing practical environmental improvements for their businesses.
Discussing the programmes, Paul Healy, Chief Executive, Skillnet Ireland, said: “The climate action leadership programmes launched today play a pivotal role in developing the talent needed by industry and in meeting the targets of the Government’s Climate Action Plan.
“These new micro-credentials offer participants the opportunity to achieve a level 7 Certificate. This expertise will be used by leaders in practical ways to make their businesses more sustainable and climate ready. We look forward to working with industry and academic institutions as we develop more programmes through our Climate Ready Academy.”
University of Limerick President Professor Kerstin Mey said: “This is a great example of how we collaborate with industry through Skillnet Ireland and the Climate Ready Academy to deliver a new form of learning which is based on the micro-credential earned through the participation in each individual programme. The stackable micro-credentials will enable participants to apply practical skills for climate action within their business and obtain a Level 7 Certificate awarded by our University.”
Earlier this year, Skillnet Ireland published research on Talent for the Green Economy, in partnership with the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI). The report found specific skills gaps in the which are holding back businesses when it comes to developing and implementing sustainability strategies. The new programmes are one of Skillnet Ireland’s new initiatives designed for removing these identified barriers.
Ken Stockil, Director of Climate Ready Academy, said: “This new suite of Climate Action Micro credentials will play a critical role in helping organisations transition to a more sustainable future. They will benefit individuals in building recognised third level qualifications in areas such as Energy Management, Circularity and broader Sustainability and will benefit businesses by offering them a powerful mechanism to upskill employees and develop tangible actions to tackle climate change within their business.”
Commenting at the launch, Senator Róisín Garvey said: “I am delighted to be here at the launch of the new Climate Ready Academy Leaders Programmes with Skillnet Ireland and UL. What we need now is clear green action and I believe that this programme has a huge part to play in leading companies to taking the action that we need now.”
To learn more about the Climate Ready Academy, please visit www.climatereadyacademy.ie.