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Students go to work on energy efficiency

Students on Severn Wye Energy Agency’s ‘Sustainable Energy Management at Schools’ ( project have recently completed work placements with a range of local sustainability-related organisations.

Sem@schools is a European project funded by the Erasmus+ programme, involving 9 Partners from 7 countries.

The work placements provided the culmination of two years of work during which the students completed an online training course, carried out surveys of their schools, developed and presented sustainable energy reports and ran energy awareness campaigns to encourage energy saving behaviour among staff and students.

The placements provided them with an opportunity to find out more about what it’s like to work in the sustainability field and to apply the knowledge and skills they have gained to a work context.

The placements were a huge success and benefited both the students and the organisations that hosted them.

Jack Jarvis from St Peter's High School carried out his placement at Corin Hughes Ltd:

'My task for the week was to create a model from current data from a small hydropower system at Wookey Hole, Somerset in order to find the time it would take for a battery of specified size to pay for itself.

On my first day we visited the site, where Corin and Simon explained step by step how the system worked.  I learnt about the magnitude of infrastructure required to construct a hydropower system, and how common it is for the cost of it to outweigh the money made from producing the energy.

This day set me up for the rest of the week really well, and showed me that the work I'd be doing was solving a real problem and not just a theoretical exercise. During the next 4 days I worked at the rented office space to capture and manipulate the data from the past 3 years, along with other factors to produce the model. It was rewarding at the end of the week to have completed this task, as I have developed skills in creating spreadsheet models, gathering data and working in a small company. This week has been a great opportunity and given me skills I can take into my degree apprenticeship and future career in engineering.'

We would like to thank the following organisations for hosting our students: Canal & River Trust;

Corin Hughes Ltd; Ecotricity; Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust; Harris Ethical; IT Schools Africa; Severn Trent Water and WWT Slimbridge. We know the students really appreciated the opportunities you provided and had a wonderful time.

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