Shropshire is in line to benefit from a Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) grant to address skills shortages in flood management, modelling and engineering.
The University of Chester, which has established University Center Shrewsbury (UCS) with Shropshire Council, has been awarded more than £110,000 to develop a series of higher education and professional development flood prevention and management courses.
The courses will be developed with the Government’s Industrial Strategy in mind, which recognizes that upgrading water and flood defenses is an urgent priority, given recent flooding incidents across the country.
Entitled Flood Risk, Assessment, Modelling and Engineering (FRAME), the project will be based within University of Chester’s Department of Geography and International Development, and will be delivered in partnership with University Center Reaseheath.
It is planned that some of the modules will be offered at UCS and the catchment area of the River Severn will be used as a real-world field laboratory for delivering practical elements of the curriculum.
The project funding from HEFCE’s Catalyst fund program has been allocated to FRAME, with additional investment provided by the institutions involved, employers and other partners.
The courses will be co-developed and co-designed in conjunction with employers, both national and local. Partners already aligned to this project include the Environment Agency (West Midlands), Shropshire Wildlife Trust, United Utilities and the National Flood Forum.
In addition, the team will be working with CIWEM (the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management) to acquire accreditation and ensure the courses provide a clear pathway for students to gain professional chartership.