What would you say to someone considering the Skills Bootcamp?

I am so glad I decided to make the most of this opportunity, as it has opened up so many more opportunities for me on both a professional and personal level than expected. I thoroughly recommend it for anyone looking to broaden/deepen their knowledge of environmental issues and anyone looking to expand their networks/meet new people who care about the planet.

How was your experience of accessing Skills Bootcamp careers support?

This is one area that I might need to further explore in the future (as I am on a fixed-term contract), but currently, I am very content in my current role leading the incubation management of our Climate Innovation Platform, based at Tyseley Energy Park (TEP). Supporting our community of Cleantech businesses and continuing to work alongside key professionals, such as: Professor Martin Freer, Director of Birmingham Energy Institute (UoB), Directors and other team members at TEP to support our collective ambitions and be a key driving force that enables and supports impact on various levels, especially locally. Being from Birmingham I am very excited to see how we can ensure that the great work happening at Tyseley Energy Park supports the locality with it’s social, economic, and of course environmental needs. It’s a very exciting time for us at TEP, as there are many opportunities for us to make a real tangible impact and I am already using what I’ve learned on the NZ programme to support our ambitions to drive positive impact within East Birmingham and beyond.

What are some of the best things about your Skills Bootcamp experience or your biggest achievements?

As detailed in other sections, the best things have been: meeting new people, who share my passion for the environment. Meeting such a broad range of people as well, was really interesting, from the NHS, National Gas, environmental companies, industrial businesses looking to be more sustainable, charities, it was such a good range of people and organisations, which really made it feel very unique. It was interesting to hear different people’s thoughts and perspectives and I enjoyed hearing the projects that all the teams had come up with, it was really inspiring and interesting.

I thoroughly enjoyed working with my project team, it was an absolute joy, we had such a complementary skillset within the team and we were all enthusiastic about our project, which is why we’ve decided we’re going to take this forward, as we really believe in what we can achieve following the positive feedback we’ve received from the organisers, University experts and our peers on the programme.

I have graduated from the programme with a broader, deeper knowledge of environmental issues and I have made some interesting connections on both a personal and professional level.

Finally, it has also helped me in my current role in terms of connecting people from Siemens with one of the businesses on the Climate Innovation Platform (that I manage), again showing the real benefits of forging relationships and networks; this will hopefully lead to more impact from various angles, including: social, environmental, and economic.

Please provide details of any employers in the relevant field who have invited you for an interview after completing the Skills Bootcamp.

Following our project presentation where we shared our team idea (a novel opportunity) that could engage KS2 (7-11 year olds) to support knowledge development around sustainability we have subsequently been invited to present our project idea to The Head of Sustainability and The Head of Education at Siemens following one of the attendees being from Siemens and supporting us with this connection. We are delighted to have this opportunity. We have also had other attendees share that their organisations would potentially be interested in supporting our idea as well, which is really exciting, as well as other cohort members giving us really good ideas and important feedback during the session. So although not an interview for a job, it is an interview for how we could take forward something quite tangle from the NZ Programme, which could lead to high level impact.

I also wanted to thank the core delivery team, for creating such a high-calibre programme, that allows for people to come along and meet new people in a way that was well thought out. Their input and support has been critical in relation to how we have developed our idea and there connections with experts has led to some interesting discussions, providing steer. Thank you.

Tell us about yourself and your journey to studying a Skills Bootcamp.

Having studied Geography I’ve always been passionate about environmental, social, and economic impact, which has fortunately led to many interesting career opportunities that have enabled me to develop my skills, knowledge, and expertise to develop and deliver programmes focused around impact and innovation. Currently I am the Incubation Manager for the University of Birmingham’s Climate Innovation Platform (cleantech business support platform), based at Tyseley Energy Park, Birmingham. I decide to engage with the NZ Bootcamp to broaden and deepen my current knowledge within the environmental sector and meet new like-minded people who share my passion for the environment.

I also found it very interesting at it is hosted by the University of Birmingham (my employer), I found out so much more about what we’re actually doing on site through Trevor Payne’s interesting session sharing: what we currently do, our future ambitions and the intricacies involved with trying to make campus spaces more climate friendly. I came away from the programme with a much deeper understanding of the complexities that are involved and appreciation of the teams who are trying to push forward these agendas in such a complex environment and recognise that these (similar) challenges exist in other organisations.

The programme has helped me to gain a real broad understanding of the complexities and interconnections that exist when trying to solve major issues like climate change (and from an organisational perspective).

Finally, I have to mention Avril; Avril’s enthusiasm for the subject was very inspiring and educational; showing how presumptions and myths need to be debunked and how we can all make changes to make a difference.

Why did you choose to study a Skills Bootcamp at the University of Birmingham?

I work for the University of Birmingham and I usually present at the NZ Skills Bootcamp and share what we do on our Climate Innovation Platform (cleantech business support platform), based at Tyseley Energy Park, Birmingham. Having delivered a few presentations, I mentioned to the course lead that I’d be very interested in attending the boot camp, to further develop my knowledge and networks and the programme certainly delivered on both of these aspects.

I was interested in getting involved in this training programme to broaden my environmental knowledge (as I appreciate knowledge and sectors have certainly evolved since I finished my degree, therefore CPD is crucial, especially in constantly evolving sectors like the environmental sector). I have attended other climate-focused training over recent years to support my CPD, (which were good and enjoyable) but this one I have particularly enjoyed because it was a combination of hybrid delivery, which meant I’ve been able to meet lots of incredible people who share my passion for the environment, which was the best part of the programme (especially after many recent programmes have been online over recent years).