Wind internship programme to double 2023 intake

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 17 Jan 2023
Niveshen Govender, SAWEA CEO.
Niveshen Govender, SAWEA CEO.

The second Wind Industry Internship Programme (WIIP) has announced that it will double its placements for 2023 and offer supplementary work readiness training for the first time.

In a statement, industry body, the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) says the programme supports the development of specialist skills needed to facilitate the exponential growth of the industry, to support the country’s growth.

Funded primarily by the Energy and Water Sector Education Training Authority, in partnership with SAWEA, the programme is expected to place 35 interns, selected from over 90 applications this year.

According to SAWEA, these interns are being placed across approximately 30 renewable energy companies – illustrating a growth of over 100% in just one year.

“We are encouraged by the uptake of this programme and huge increase of placements, knowing that young professionals are being absorbed by our sector and are receiving the mentorship and practical experience that they need,” says Niveshen Govender, CEO of SAWEA.

SAWEA explains that the WIIP provides young professionals who have recently completed a degree or those undertaking graduate programmes, with the opportunity to gain practical work experience in line with their studies or interests, whilst exposing them to works related to sustainable energy solutions.

It notes that this year, for the first time, the programme will include a 10-day work readiness training segment facilitated by an external service provider that will coach the graduates in the soft skills necessary to enter the workplace, for example, e-mail etiquette, communication, working as a team etc.

While the WIIP provides capacity building for the students, it equally benefits the commercial wind power industry seeking to source qualified students specialised in various professional fields, the industry body adds.

“Equally important, the programme is recognised as a major contributor to social, environmental and economic security in the country,” explains Govender.

The demand for qualified and skilled talent is growing and the South African industry, like its international counterparts, needs a rising pool of qualified candidates to draw from, the association says.

SAWEA anticipates jobs in manufacturing, logistics, finance, construction, and operational phases becoming available as Bid Window 5 and Bid Window 6 projects come online.

It points out that these comprise of professional services, business services and sales. Requirements include, engineering, project management, project development, and skills in environmental authorisations, among others.