Mendip Environment works with local green groups and training providers to publicise and develop a 'Skills for Sustainability' programme. Whilst a launch date is at present uncertain, the programme is likely to be made up of short courses (from hour-long 'taster' sessions to full day courses) for residents of Mendip, to encourage them to 'green' their lifestyles. The courses will be open to all, free or low-cost, and held at community venues across Mendip.
It is now recognised, in particular by the Transition movement, that 're-skilling' is a useful way of moving to a lower energy future which is less dependent on fossil fuels. In the days before our throwaway society, people were more likely to have skills and knowledge in areas like growing and preserving fruit and vegetables, keeping chickens and repairing household items. This project will encourage people to acquire these sorts of skills through taster sessions and workshops, and guidance will be given on how to take things further, for example by getting involved with local groups or training at a higher level. Alongside traditional skills, we hope to offer training in areas such as installing renewable energy sources in the home.
There are already many opportunities in Mendip for training in 'sustainability skills' , from bicycle maintanance to bread making, and we will publicise these where appropriate, as well as setting up new opportunities. Where possible, training will be provided by local people with expertise and experience, with the support of professional trainers if needed.