Welsh government expands provision of fully-funded IEMA courses

30th November 2022


IEMA can now provide more businesses with environmental and sustainability training that is 100% funded by the Welsh government after a salary cap was recently lifted.

Workers earning more than £29,500 had previously been unable to access the full-funded courses, however, this criteria has been removed for the 2022/23 academic year to encourage higher-earning staff to upskill.

The IEMA courses are 100% funded via Personal Learning Account (PLA) support, with the Welsh government having provided colleges with £2m in targeted funding for green skills.

If you are over 19 and living in Wales, in employment, or your job is at risk, you may be eligible for the IEMA training. However, it is important to act now while the funding is available, so contact the colleges that are eligible as soon as possible.

“The Welsh government have invested time and money in reviewing skills demand for the green sector for current and future skills demand,” explained Gareth Bond, who manages the PLA programme on behalf of Pembrokeshire College.

“To accelerate the take up in these routes and generate interest in sectors where there will be demand for well paid jobs, it was key for Welsh government to support the courses in this way.

“Removing the salary cap for these courses will also attract those from industries that currently pay well, though may be carbon intensive, to move to green sector jobs.”

The following IEMA courses are 100% funded by PLA support:

  • IEMA Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management
  • IEMA Certificate in Environmental Management
  • IEMA Environmental Sustainability Skills for Manager
  • IEMA Environmental Sustainability Skills for the Workforce
  • IEMA Auditing to ISO 140001:2015


One person who has already benefitted from the PLA funding for IEMA courses is Gareth Stephens, plant director at Mechatronics Systems Wales, who completed the IEMA Certificate in Environmental Management.

“Environmental opportunities are something that I’m passionate about and want to develop personally and professionally, so the training was about getting a broader understanding of the developments to improve our world, and the opportunities there are in the future for us as a business and the part we play,” he explained.

“Now the PLA criteria has been clarified, I have personally committed to complete another two IEMA courses, and we will offer the IEMA Auditing to ISO 140001 to two of our colleagues who have not audited before, with an additional two people completing the foundation certificate.

“We are a small company with around 60 people and will train around 10% of our organisation with IEMA in the next 6 to 12 months. Anyone else who has got that opportunity should absolutely go for it!”

Lifting the salary cap for PLA funding is part of the Welsh government’s broader net-zero plan, which includes a pledge for Wales to lead on training and skills development relating to climate change.

“This will ensure we have a pipeline of talent needed to address our climate emergency,” A Welsh government spokesperson said. “£2m in targeted funding for green skills supports this pledge, and is additional to delivery in this sector already planned by colleges through their core funding.

“However, there is a limit on resource and colleges will need to have regard to their overall funding when planning delivery and receiving queries from potential learners.”

Learn more about IEMA by visiting iema.net

Further information on green skills can be found at IEMA's newly-launched Green Careers Hub

Image credit: Unsplash


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