Qualifications body WAMITAB and the University of Northampton have set out an ambitious plan to export their combined expertise in qualifications development and delivery to the worldwide stage.
This programme of activity was formalised in a jointly signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) after six months of planning and development.
The MoU will see the two organisations working closely to develop a suite of vocational qualifications from operative to team leader.
The core objective is to use the world-class experience and expertise of the two organisations to provide employers and employees with the tools to deliver a truly mobile workforce.
The motivation for the partnership is to utilise the breadth of experience and expertise the two organisations have; and to work across three continents in Africa, Asia and Europe.
A key driver for greater integration is the European Qualifications Credit Framework (EQF), which allows qualifications from different European countries to be cross-referenced and compared.
The EQF aims to help develop a European-wide workforce that is mobile and flexible; and to aid lifelong learning. It aims to help learners and workers moving between countries, from job to job and from one education or training institution to another.
With particular reference to those countries such as Albania who are seeking accession to the EU, the opportunity is to support not only skills, but infrastructure and modernisation.
WAMITAB is seeking to embed the best of its recognised qualifications into the expanding markets of Europe and elsewhere. By working with the University of Northampton, we hope to extend both the breadth and depth of UK qualifications in waste management overseas.
The University of Northampton is committed to transforming its existing Centre for Sustainable Wastes Management into a World Centre of Academic Excellence.
The aim is to help decision makers, practitioners and ordinary citizens across the world understand how a solid waste management system works, and to inspire people everywhere to make their own decisions on future needs.
WAMITAB works within the principles of the closed-loop community and this cultural shift is critical for a sustainable world.
Across the world, we have organisations and countries committing to change and progression.
The University of Madras has become a founding member of the World Centre; The University of Northampton is the key partner for wastes management education in Kenya; WAMITAB is leading the first phase of work in Libya and Albania; and a dozen Brazilian students arrived in September 2012 to undertake a six-month programme of study in wastes management.
In the future, we will transform the education and skills training for FM and wastes/resource management through the development of a consistent and quality assured suite of qualifications to the highest level.
We will develop region-specific competence based FM and wastes management training programmes at operative and supervisory level.
We will create a highly skilled and competent workforce, which through a better understanding of the value of reuse and recycling, will support the international development agenda and provide the expertise to change behaviour.
It is important, and we are mindful of, the need to ensure that the work on skills development is not in isolation and that global initiatives including energy from waste, zero waste to landfill, reuse and recycling are matched by the same ambition for the development of people.
It has been a positive start, but much work is still to do over the coming months and years.