A training programme to put Wales at the forefront of sustainability expertise in the built environment sector has taken a major step forward with a series of ‘meet the buyer’ events.

Over 40 training providers attended the events in Cardiff, Llandudno and Carmarthen to hear how they can benefit from the £2,877,000 of funding available to run innovative courses for professionals around Wales.

They heard how Built Environment Sustainability Training (BEST) will coordinate a major programme of flexible, subsidised training to develop knowledge and skills in the latest sustainability practices – particularly in construction, energy, waste, and water.

Courses will be offered to people who live or work in one of Wales’ Convergence areas, from autumn 2013.

“This has really taken us forward significantly,” said programme director, Dr Julie Gwilliam, of the Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff University. “Training providers – including colleges, universities and private sector businesses – now have a clear picture of what BEST can do for them and how they can work with us.”

The sessions explained background information on the BEST programme; the types of training courses that could be developed; information on funding available to providers through the programme; and an outline of the application process.

BEST aims to bring together outstanding training providers to deliver training which will benefit businesses, employees, the environment and the economy of Wales, with training for people such as energy assessors and advisors, architects, planners, engineers, maintenance teams, surveyors, site supervisors and other related roles.

“We’re especially keen to involve women and people aged over 50, working across different areas of the built environment,” added Dr Gwiliam.

Training will be designed to be flexible through delivery outside of working hours or online, in order to minimise inconvenience and time away from work.

BEST is led by the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University in partnership with, Asset Skills, CITBConstructionSkills, Constructing Excellence in Wales, the Energy Saving Trust, Proskills and SummitSkills.

It is supported by the European Social Fund, through the Welsh Government and will deliver training until July 2015.

Training providers, employers and individuals who are interested in finding out more, should visit  www.best.cf.ac.uk or phone 029 2087 0990.