A focus on Green Skills at Activate Learning during Colleges Week 2023

It’s Colleges Week 2023 and today, we’re celebrating how we incorporate Green Skills into our programme offering across Activate Learning. 

Green skills are the competencies that workers need to deliver in areas such as transport, power, industry, and the natural environment to develop and support a sustainable society.  

The future needs of a green economy identifies specific gaps and opportunities in skills development. As we transition to a high-skill, low carbon economy, meeting ‘net zero’ will require fundamental shifts across all areas of the economy.  

Activate Learning is proud to offer various programmes that deliver towards this target. 

We offer a variety of courses which incorporate Green Skills into their programmes at numerous campuses, from Further Education to Higher Education, to Apprenticeships and short courses. 


Student Case Study

Zac studied Level 3 Forestry and Arboriculture at Merrist Wood College and University Centre and said:  

“When I finished school, I didn’t want to do A levels so I looked for something else I could do instead of staying in an academic college or sixth form. I found that there were agricultural colleges that offered vocational courses.  

“Just talking to people helped me decide on Merrist Wood College. Especially for tree work, it’s really well known. In fact, it was one of the first colleges that offered arboriculture courses, so I’d heard through word of mouth about its great reputation.  

“The college’s reputation for arboriculture looks good on the CV. Historically, it was one of the only colleges that offered this course, so a lot of people that did go to the college are now in industry and they recognise you’re at the college they used to be at. I’ve found that people say, “Oh yeah I went there, I remember those tutors.” 

“Courses like this are important for getting into the industry. The course has a good blend of practical and theory, which has been really beneficial. I did enjoy the theory side but for me it would have been lacking if I’d missed out on the practical experience.  

“The tutors have a lot of good contacts and, if you’re stuck for ideas, they definitely point you in the right direction. They know the good and the better companies to work for and which areas you might want to go into.” 

Joanne Manser, Group Director of Merrist Wood College and University Centre, comments:  

“Embedding Green Skills into our curriculum at Merrist Wood College and University Centre is incredibly important, especially in today’s world where environmental issues are at the forefront of global concerns

“These skills are increasingly valuable in a world where sustainability and environmental concerns are growing in importance.  

“By incorporating Green Skills into education and training programmes, such as the ones we offer at Merrist Wood, our learners will be equipped with the skills to contribute to efforts in addressing climate change, reduce environmental harm, and promote a more sustainable future for our planet. 

“The job market is evolving, and there’s a growing demand for green skills across various industries, opening up a range of ‘green’ career pathways across many sectors. We are seeing that employers are increasingly seeking candidates who can help them reduce their carbon footprint and adopt sustainable practices. 

“We want to equip our students with the skills that will be vital for our environment and that will also make them employable in their future careers.” 

Joanne Manser – Director of Merrist Wood College and University Centre


Further Education programmes 

Our full-time Further Education programmes are offered in: 

Access to Higher Education programmes  



Further Education Programmes

Access to Higher Education programmes 



Further Education Programmes

Higher Education programmes  

Adult courses 


Go here to find out more about our Apprenticeships in land-based subjects 


News Stories  – Green Skills at Activate Learning 

Merrist Wood student climbs to the top of the tree winning national Arboriculture award 

Merrist Wood College Invites Green Fingered Enthusiasts to join Community Gardening Group 

Merrist Wood Students Win GOLD at BBC Gardeners World Live Spring Fair College Garden Competition 

Government funding brings new range of high-tech green technology equipment to Merrist Wood students 

Activate Learning continues to deliver key skills with help from Government’s Strategic Development Fund