The Verdancy Group proves that knowledge is power in an era of change
By partnering with ambitious companies and organizations to deliver innovative educational materials and courses, The Verdancy Group is fully committed to helping young people and today’s Scottish workforce develop sustainability skills that are essential to achieve the net zero goals. By Andrew Collier
There is one essential thing that we need if we are to win the fight against climate change – knowledge. It is only by educating ourselves that we can all rise to the challenge and take the necessary positive actions.
The key lies in consistent, engaged and motivating learning. Through this, we can develop the skills and attitudes required, investing in people to give them the capacity to succeed.
A Scottish company working in this dynamic and exciting field is The Verdancy Group, based in Livingston, which offers a wide range of educational materials and courses to develop the sustainability skills needed for the future.
He felt that the best way to understand how to apply learning is to bring in someone who has spent years working in the education sector and understands exactly how it works.
As a result, the company hired educator Susan McSeveney as director.
She first trained as a secondary school teacher before working in the continuing education sector at a Scottish college where she started out as a lecturer teaching basic skills before her last role as a manager of learning and skills at the head of the faculty of construction and automobile.
It was introduced to Verdancy Group founder and director Steven Kiakowski through a sustainability contact. “At the time, one of my main responsibilities was to find educational materials to ensure that learners were equipped to enter the world of work,” she recalls.
“We quickly understood what they were trying to do and used a few of their lessons. Two years later, I decided to join the business myself.
It is the fact that Ms. McSeveney previously worked with the company as a client that now gives The Verdancy Group an edge over its competition. In the world of higher education, she adds, the curriculum must ensure that it innovates to keep pace with change.
“There is a lag between what learners need to know and the content available in frameworks and qualifications. it works. Being able to outsource to a private training provider to get these resources was a big draw for me.
“They had training in waste management and that gave me real credibility.
“They knew their stuff and could adapt very, very quickly. The speed with which the company was able to respond and meet my needs as a client was fantastic and this experience played a huge role in the decision to relocate. Their ideas were up to date and they were in sync with what was going on in the world in terms of political news and agendas. ”
The main reason she decided to join the company was her passion and ambition to influence and create change.
“I wanted to be able to potentially influence decision-makers in education and policy-making and that’s an exciting thing to do.
“I loved my time in the FE Sector, met some incredibly inspiring people and learned so much along the way.
“When I had the opportunity to join a private sector organization that was dynamic and young, I felt that I would thrive in this environment and that I would be able to use the skills and experience that I had acquired in my previous roles and felt that I had reached a point in my career when I wanted a new challenge and which certainly met my expectations.
Much of his work with The Verdancy Group focuses on curriculum design and delivery.
“It’s a growing and diverse team, so it’s in my nature to get involved a bit in everything. The educational experience and knowledge that I have gives me a better understanding and that is really important.
“One of our ongoing goals is to continually develop our online courses and seek other opportunities. ”
The transition from work in higher education to that of a growing SME has been different but leaves the thought: “This is my biggest challenge but also my biggest opportunity. ”
She now works with educational, community and corporate clients. “Of course, the education sector was a natural fit for me, but I actually found that I had contributed a lot on the business side.
“I think people in this industry appreciate and respect that to help staff learn and get to where they want to be in net zero terms, having someone with training is just right.”
How does she see the future? “In a way, I hope that what we do now with our support for education will be less in demand five years from now.
“If we can influence and drive change in the areas in which we operate, there should be less need to fill the void.
“Education for sustainable development should be integrated into all courses and all qualifications, much like foundational skills and meta-skills currently.
“We would still be there, but we would have evolved naturally into a sector skills council for the green skills sector and the environment. There are organizations that are driving big changes in this area, but what is missing is a trusted partner who brings it all together. ”
New partnerships with colleges lay a solid foundation for future economic growth
THE Verdancy Group has forged its reputation as a leading provider of sustainable learning by building strong relationships with partners and delivering effective and efficient learning.
It has worked with Edinburgh College for a number of years and has hosted construction faculty students with its SCQF Waste in the Circular Economy Award.
Garry Maxwell, director of the college’s construction program, has made a commitment to enroll all construction apprentices in one of its courses. This represents a huge commitment in terms of teaching green skills to learners.
The Verdancy Group has built a tailor-made version of the apprenticeship that will develop basic apprenticeship skills, including ICT and numeracy, while learning about key sustainability topics.
The obligatory results for the core competency units will be woven throughout the learning process and the evidence will be gathered in a natural and holistic way.
Mr. Maxwell is keen to ensure that all apprentices entering the industry are equipped with the right mindset to influence positive change and help others reduce their waste and carbon footprint.
“As a college, we are committed to incorporating sustainability and green skills into our curriculum. We are excited to work with The Verdancy Group to ensure our apprentices have access to contextualized learning that has sustainability at its heart. ”
The Verdancy group has also forged a solid partnership with Borders College and has teamed up this year to co-create learning modules that will be made available to more than 2,000 students as part of their integration process. During these modules, students will learn the impact of climate change, how to live more sustainably and how to reduce their own carbon footprint.
Learning is complemented by students committing themselves to making a net zero commitment, given their life in college, at home, and in the workplace.
David Lowe, deputy head of the college, describes The Verdancy Group as an important partner.
“Last year we launched our sustainability strategy at Borders College and our commitment to work together to respond to the global climate emergency and Scottish Government policy.
goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2045.
“Our approach to sustainability will be underpinned by the collective of three themes – the circular economy, behavior change and global citizenship.
To allow us to set the tone early on in the student journey at Borders College, we noted the great work that The Verdancy Group had undertaken and their expertise in this area, so we decided to approach them to see if we could work. in collaboration to develop an introductory module for all Borders College students as well as develop a CPD package for our own staff.
This work will be instrumental in bringing about behavior change for all students and staff at Borders College, as well as influencing the community at large, which will enable us to implement our strategy and help us achieve this goal from scratch. net by 2045. ”