The University of Stirling has forged a partnership with new professional body, the Association of Environmental and Ecological Clerks of Works (AEECoW), to provide environmental training to the construction industry.
Courses, which will be provided by the School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, will include environmental and ecological science, environmental management and conservation science.
Links between the University and AEECoW will also increase the employability of Stirling graduates by giving students exposure to another employment sector and experience of a professional working environment.
Stirling Professor David Gilvear is leading the partnership between AEECoW and the University. Professor Gilvear says the programme will ensure that Environmental and Ecological Clerks of Works (ECoWs) will be able to apply the knowledge and skills gained on major development projects.
ECoWs play a key role in protecting natural heritage. Driven by planning policy, their primary role is to monitor compliance with environmental legislation on development sites. However to date, there has been no clear guidance on the qualifications required of them.
Professor Gilvear said: “The University is delighted to be part of this process. The knowledge and information that will be shared in our training will be of immense use to those working in construction.
"AEECoW will help shape the future of the industry in Scotland.”
AEECoW Chair, Professor George Fleming, says the professional body has been established to create a forum for closer working between developers and those involved in protecting the natural environment.
He added: “AEECoW will act as a qualifying body, raising professional standards amongst those who fulfil the ECoW role.
“It will also be one of only a few professional organisations that welcome professionals from both the development and environmental industries and will serve to promote closer working between the groups.”
Scottish Government’s Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Stewart Stevenson MSP is hosting an awareness raising event at the Scottish Parliament on 9 November to promote the formation of AEECoW and the role of ECoWs.