Local college group’s green study options on offer at Festival of Thrift


A local college group will be offering visitors the opportunity to sign up to an exciting green future at this year’s Festival of Thrift.

Teams from Tees Valley-based the Education Training Collective (Etc.) will be at the event in Billingham on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 September chatting to people about their study options, which include Redcar and Cleveland College’s newly opened Clean Energy Education Hub that specialises in clean and renewable industry training.

This is the fifth time that the group of local colleges, which includes Bede Sixth Form College, Stockton Riverside College, Redcar and Cleveland College, NETA Training and The Skills Academy in Billingham, has been a Festival of Thrift partner.

With Bede Sixth Form College and The Skills Academy just down the road in Billingham, as well as Stockton Riverside College and NETA a stone’s throw away, Etc. is looking forward to its students and staff taking part in a host of activities and joining all the fun of the festival.

Since first backing the event,   Etc. has gone on to prioritise ways to implement positive change and reduce its own carbon footprint.

Alongside a group-wide ‘Green Initiatives Group’, where staff share ideas to promote recycling, reducing general waste and energy consumption, Etc. has achieved the silver standard from the Investors in the Environment (iiE) and certified “carbon neutrality”, working with Carbon Neutral Britain, for the last two years running and is now working towards the iiE Green Award.

Patrick Jordan, principal of Bede Sixth Form College in Billingham, said that partnering with Festival of Thrift allows the college to support events in the college’s local communities while reaching out to young people and adults to let them know how the college can support them to work towards their future career goals.

He added: “Here at Bede and the wider Education Training Collective (Etc.), we are proud, once again, to be sponsoring the Festival of Thrift, particularly with its exciting move to Billingham this year. 

“This is an opportunity to join our communities as they enjoy what promises to be an exciting and vibrant event, while also taking inspiration from the artists, workshops and exhibitions, to find ways to ensure our everyday habits, like shopping, living, and indeed studying, can benefit, not harm the planet.”

Festival of Thrift Executive Director Emma Whitenstall said: “It’s fantastic to be welcoming back Etc. again as partners this year. We really value their ongoing support and their commitment to environmental sustainability as an organisation is really commendable.  

“Green careers are absolutely crucial so we are excited that they will be showcasing the range of courses that will enable the next generation to make a real, positive impact on our planet.”

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