Wind industry lures new talent with internships

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A collaboration between the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) and the Energy and Water Sector Education Training Authority (EWSETA) has resulted in the Wind Industry Internship Programme (WIIP), which exposes qualifying candidates to careers within the sustainable energy sector.

The entities recently penned a memorandum of understanding before SAWEA subsequently submitted an application through the discretionary grant to EWSETA, to support the internship programme.

SAWEA says the WIIP will provide 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, while exposing them to work related to sustainable energy.

South Africa’s renewable energy sector is searching for new talent as it gears up for expected sector growth.

In a statement, SAWEA notes that as the country embarks on a period of exponential renewable energy procurement, the demand for qualified and skilled talent is growing. In response, the programme will look to satisfy the sector’s need for a rising pool of qualified potential candidates in the near future.

SAWEA anticipates jobs in the sustainable energy sector will be in the manufacturing, logistics, finance, construction and operational phases of green energy projects.

“This programme will also enable SAWEA to deliver on its ambitions of developing a thriving commercial wind power industry that is recognised as a major contributor to social, environmental and economic security in South Africa,” says Lindo Sibiya, programme manager for SAWEA.

“So, as we gear up for the 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, while helping to achieve energy transformation imperatives, particularly on gender, race and youth.”

According to SAWEA, direct jobs can already be seen through the employment drives that have been undertaken by various companies operating in the renewables sector.

The organisation adds that while the WIIP provides capacity-building for students, it will equally benefit the wind power sector, which seeks to source qualified students specialised in various professional fields.

Sibiya explains that the aim of the WIIP is not only to provide students with the opportunity to acquire and develop skills in the domestic market, but also in the international wind energy environment.

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