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Welcome to Way Out West your unofficial guide to living, working and studying in the west of the province

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Over the last number of years global warming has become something lots of people think about in their every day lives, whether by actively recycling, adapting their diets, or even planning their careers.

During COVID-19 lockdown, this only increased. Our unique living situation gave many of us as a new relationship and appreciation for the great outdoors. Being cooped up at home all day, working from home and not being able to interact with many people means that people are appreciating daily walks, runs or cycles more than ever. For exercise, fresh air and mental health, getting out and about in our local areas is proving more and more important to people.

Public health restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid-19 resulted in sharp dips in air pollution across China, Europe and the US, with carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels approaching a record 5% annual drop. Places like Venice saw their water run clearer and at one stage nearly eight in 10 flights were cancelled globally.

The South West College, Erne Campus will see the delivery of the first educational building worldwide to achieve the highest international standard in environmental constructions (PassivHaus Premium), ranking it alongside prestigious buildings such as the Apple Campus 2, in terms of sustainable innovation and design.

However, these differences will prove inconsequential if things return to what they were previously, and conservationists have warned that returning the world to its pre-pandemic settings will quickly wipe out any environmental benefits of the shutdown. What we do next will have a big say on the environment in the future. Energy, environment and sustainability is something that big businesses and industries can no longer afford to ignore.

It’s no surprise then that just as it’s a career growing in popularity, it’s also a job sector that is only going to get bigger.

Sustainability, energy and the environment are at the forefront of current business and policy priority areas and the Energy, Environment and Sustainability courses available at South West College are a great way to become qualified in this line of work; perfect for anyone looking to get into a variety of industries, or even for someone who first and foremost wants to build a career that helps save the environment.

The QUB BSc (Hons) Energy, Environment and Sustainability (Stage 2 Top Up) and the Queens University Belfast Foundation Degree in Energy, Environment and Sustainability are both available from September for the academic year 20/21. They offer the opportunity to learn about renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency and develop the business skills necessary to apply this knowledge in a practical working environment, qualifying you to work in an employment sector that s only going to get bigger in the coming years.

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