Since its launch six years ago, 74 young students have passed through Globeleq South Africa’s internship programme that has provided much-needed career opportunities in the renewables market.
With the aim of developing young technical staff for a nascent renewable energy industry, over R18-million has been spent to date, and a successful pipeline of qualified talent created for the sector.
Hlengiwe Radebe, the economic development director for Globeleq South Africa Management Services (GSAMS), explained that internships are an amazing opportunity and space for young people to start their careers.
“We are fortunate to watch the interns grow and develop into confident individuals that go on to become productive members of society in various fields and are especially pleased that 80% have been retained in the industry, having found work or continued to study.”
Radebe, who is also heads up the South African Wind Energy Association’s (SAWEA) Economic Development Working Group, believes that the collective renewable energy sector could achieve a great deal for the country’s youth development objectives, if these types of internship programmes were implemented broadly, especially as the expected exponential industry growth will require a talent pipeline.
“The Government’s National Development Plan encourages all sectors of the economy to develop youth. Internship is one such initiative Globeleq has done very well to contribute to, aimed at ensuring the inclusion of youth in mainstream economy, in addition to stimulating and building the capacity of technically skilled people,” added Radebe.
Looking at the achievements of the internships to date, Radebe highlighted that forty interns, have completed their in-service training with GSAMS and have graduated with National Diplomas in Electrical or Mechatronic Engineering.
Additionally, eight former interns have successfully been recruited into permanent positions with the company. The programme’s demographics reflect 75% Black Youth; and almost 40% Women Youth.
“The vision is to see more women senior managers and industry leaders coming from the internship programme. There is a strong desire and commitment by the industry to promote women participation in the industry and create an environment that promotes their entry and growth in the industry,” concluded Radebe