The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) and Energy Water Sector Education Training Authority (EWSETA) have signed a memorandum of understanding to encourage young professionals to enter the energy sector.
SAWEA also submitted an application through the discretionary grant to EWSETA to support their Wind Industry Internship Programme (WIIP).
The internship programme will give young professionals who have recently completed a degree or are in a graduate programme, practical work experience opportunities. Not only would these opportunities be in line with their studies or interest, but would expose them to work related to sustainable energy solutions.
Thus the WIIP will help students with capacity building at the same time as help the wind power sector who are looking for qualified students specialised in various professional fields.
Lindo Sibiya, SAWEA programmes manager: “This programme will enable SAWEA to deliver on its ambition of developing a thriving commercial wind power industry that is recognised as a major contributor to social, environmental and economic security in South Africa.”
Sibiya explained the programme aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop skills in the domestic as well as international wind energy environment.
Growing wind energy sector means jobs all around
As South Africa embarks on a period of exponential renewable procurement now that the REIPPP programme is back on track, the demand for qualified and skilled talent is growing.
SAWEA anticipates jobs in manufacturing, logistics, finance construction and operational phases will become available as Bid Window 5 and subsequent bidding rounds roll out. This will also include professional services, business services and sales.
SAWEA also foresees skills requirements growing in engineering, project management, project development and environmental authorisation. They already see direct jobs becoming available through employment drives undertaken by various companies operating in the renewables sector.
“So, as we gear up for this period of growth, we also look to the WIIP to enhance the visibility of the South African wind industry and its local skills development activities, whilst helping to achieve energy transformation imperatives, particular in gender, race and youth,” said Sibiya.