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London centre launched to tackle flooding skills gap

Environment Agency flood defense

A new centre has been set up to bolster the UK’s defence against flooding.

Brunel University is aiming to plug the flooding skills gap by launching its Centre for Flood Risk and Resilience (CFR2).

The London centre has has been developed in partnership with the Environment Agency, and the environmental organisations HR Wallingford, Jacobs, ICE Blue and the Chartered Institute of Water & Environmental Management (Ciwem) and aims to help fill the skills gap currently faced by the sector.

Director of the CFR2 Professor Tassos Karayiannis said: “The Centre will complement our existing undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Flood and Coastal Engineering, which are offered alongside HR Wallingford and supported by the Environment Agency.

“The Centre will provide new Ciwem accredited e-learning materials developed with our partners for new learners at both pre and post-university level, and at the same time offer an opportunity for an upgrade to professionals working in the field.

“This will help reduce the national and international skills gap for professionals working in this multidisciplinary field.”

Backed by £200,000 from HEFCE’s Catalyst Fund, CFR2 will offer a suite of Ciwem accredited e-learning programmes aimed at professionals from September.

The centre will then expanded to include Brunel’s undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral courses in Flood and Coastal Engineering, which have run at the university since 2017.

Ciwem chief executive Terry Fuller said: “The training of professionals to meet our global challenges of flood and coastal erosion risk management is a priority for Ciwem. We are pleased to support the development and accreditation of the courses offered by the centre”.

Senior Skills, Efficiency and Resilience Advisor at the Environment Agency Paul Cross, added: “The Centre for Flood Resilience holds a great deal of promise and potential to enhance the skills and capabilities of those working in the sector, empower communities at risk through education and inspire future generations to forge an exciting career within the sector.”

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