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Global Wind Day: fifteen students certified at South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre

Proud student Mvuzo Nkonyeni holding certificate at graduation. Credit: SARETEC/Nordex

Nordex Group South Africa, in partnership with the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC), hosted a graduation ceremony on the 15th of June 2017, for 15 students trained and certified in the internationally recognised Wind Turbine Service Technician programme.

At the ceremony, which marked the celebration of Global Wind Day, the students were awarded the formal qualification that will boost their careers and bolster local skills transfer.

The programme is South Africa’s first formal qualification in the wind sector and offers intake to students with a minimum of an NQF Level 4 qualification. Students received seven months of practical training and theory that included two months of in-service training on a wind farm.

Speaking at the graduation event, Naim Rassool, Director of SARETEC, said: “We were honoured to partner with the Nordex Group to train SARETEC’s second group of Wind Turbine Service Technicians. The substantial investment made by Nordex Group South Africa in training these students shows their commitment to skills development in South Africa. It also highlights the manner in which public private partnerships can be leveraged to empower our local youth with globally relevant skills.”

Wind Turbine Service Technicians are responsible for the service, maintenance and repair of wind turbines. They inspect, diagnose, maintain, and adjust wind turbines, managing electrical and mechanical wind turbine operations.

In support of their commitment to mentorship and local skills transfer, the Nordex Group have employed five of the learners full-time and another four achieved extended contracts from the practical training by the Nordex Group.

Managing Director of the Nordex Group South Africa, Anne Henschel, said, ”We are delighted to see the hard work of these students pay off. To witness the skills development on the job at one of our five wind farm projects and now through SARETEC is pleasing and shows just what is possible in an industry that is focused on sustainable job creation.”

“Since January 2015, SARETEC has rapidly established its reputation as a world-class renewable energy training facility. Having been set up to meet the needs of SA’s fledgling renewable power industry, SARETEC is now graduating renewable energy technicians able to work anywhere in the world,” said Brenda Martin, CEO of SAWEA.

Global Wind Day is a worldwide event that occurs annually on 15 June. It is a day for discovering wind, its power and the possibilities it holds to reshape our energy systems, decarbonise our economies and boost jobs and growth.

Student, Mvuzo Nkonyeni, spoke of what it meant to him: “Achieving this qualification is a dream come true for me and sets me on my path to make a difference in the wind energy industry. It was truly rewarding to celebrate all my hard work on Global Wind Day.”


Featured image: 123rf

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.