Peterborough College was visited by the city’s Labour Candidate Andrew Pakes, and Shadow Energy Minister Dr. Alan Whitehead to hear about the Centre of Green Technology being built on the college campus in 2023.
PRC’s new building will offer an “innovative” curriculum focusing on environmentally sustainable industries such as electrical vehicle technology and generating heat from alternative sources, in turn equipping students with skills that can be used in the swiftly evolving green industries built for the future.
“We know the things we’ve got to put in place, but at the moment we just haven’t got the skills,” explained Dr. Whitehead, who went on to say that building the Green Technology centre “is exactly the sort of thing we need to do up and down the country.”
The Shadow Minister described campaigning for the environment as “a pretty unpopular minority sport,” when he first became an MP 25 years ago, but he noted how quickly public opinion has shifted in recent times.
“Attitudes have changed very rapidly, but the implementation, as it were, hasn’t,” Dr. Whitehead reflected, but he firmly believes that “if we don’t spend this money (on green technology), then we are gonna spend a lot more money than that by failing to get to a low carbon economy,” referring to the looming consequences of climate change if governments worldwide don’t act.
Andrew Pakes, the Labour Candidate for Peterborough, outlined his vision for what his city could achieve, leading the way in green technology.
“I want to put Peterborough on the map, both for the fight against climate change and for the good quality jobs that people in this city can be doing to help,” he said.
Mr. Pakes raised his concerns about the number of “low-paid and insecure” jobs in Peterborough whilst praising how the Centre for Green Technology could make a real difference to quality of life across the city.
“If the college can be at the heart of transforming jobs and skills in this city, then we can lift opportunities for everyone. That, to me, is a real prize in this,” the Labour Candidate claimed.
However, Mr. Pakes emphasised how his vision for Peterborough would require much more investment “from the government and elsewhere,” however, he believes that the government “doesn’t have the ambition,” for the city to flourish in his eyes.
Shadow Minister Dr. Whitehead highlighted how the energy crisis, stemming from Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, unveiled the consequences of lacking investment in renewable energy sources and green technology in the UK.
Many people are “unable to pay their energy bills and are in serious trouble as far as how they heat their homes,” said the Labour MP who hopes that age groups who may not have been concerned about green technology, now see its importance.
“That is gonna make your life much better and cheaper and more sustainable, and your worries about how you live will be much lessened,” he outlined.
The new Centre for Green Technology at Peterborough College is set to begin delivering courses as early as 2024
Photo: Inspire Education Group