Partnering in a new centre to help bridge the flooding skills gap

Frequent and devastating flood events, such as those faced in York in 2015, have led to a commitment by the Government to invest £2.3 billion by 2021 on improving flood defence and resilience.  A new centre has now been launched to ensure that people working across the infrastructure sector are equipped with the right skills to ensure that this investment can be delivered. 

HR Wallingford is one of the partners supporting the development of the Centre for Flood Risk and Resilience (CFR2) at Brunel University, London, which also includes the Environment Agency, Jacobs, ICE Blue and CIWEM. 

Established with Catalyst funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the new centre aims to reduce the national and international skills gap in flood training in this multidisciplinary field. 

CFR2 will offer a set of Chartered Institution of Water and Environment Management (CIWEM) accredited e-learning programmes aimed at professionals, before being expanded to include Brunel’s undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral courses in Flood and Coastal Engineering, which were launched at the university in 2017. 

The centre’s new e-learning courses complement Brunel’s existing undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Flood and Coastal Engineering, which are offered alongside HR Wallingford and supported by the Environment Agency.

Dr Mike Dearnaley, Director of Technical Excellence at HR Wallingford, said: “Building on materials developed for the Flood and Coastal Engineering Programme at Brunel, we will be supporting the delivery of innovative and easily accessible e-learning programmes.  This will help to ensure that we increase the number of flood professionals with the right skills to meet the challenge of improving flood defence and resilience for the future.” 

The first e-learning courses are expected to be available online from mid-September 2018.  Find out more about the Centre for Flood Risk and Resilience's Skills Capacity Roadmap.

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