TVET lecturers receive green energy upskilling

A group of 10 lecturers from the Nkangala TVET College have been equipped with renewables energy expertise, after receiving training aimed at enhancing their capacity.

The training was initiated by the Energy and Water Sector Education Training Authority (EWSETA), in partnership with RES4Africa.

According to a statement, the upskilling is in line with the Just Energy Transition, which aims to address the skills challenge as the country migrates to a renewables-based economy.

It also forms part of RES4Africa’s Re-skilling Lab, a capacity-building programme focused on reskilling people in coal sector communities like Mpumalanga.

During the training, lecturers received theoretical and practical renewable energy knowledge, including exposure to inverter systems, photovoltaic panels, batteries, a wind turbine and a solar pump, says the statement.

“With our progressive policies, emphasis on energy-efficiency and accessibility to renewable energy, we aim to achieve a Just Energy Transition that guarantees a fair and sustainable future for all in South Africa,” says Candice Moodley, EWSETA corporate services executive.

Linky Nhlabathi, electrical lecturer at Nkangala TVET College, comments: “The renewable energy course on PV solar energy was a great experience. It is one of the skills that are relevant and responding to the needs of our community and the country, especially during this crisis of load-shedding.

“My attitude and my lessons have changed in a way that I am enjoying my own teaching. I would like to encourage students and qualified electricians, especially females, to integrate the renewable energy course with the electrical trade, as there are many employment opportunities available, which will also contribute to our economy.”

Nkangala lecturers will now deliver the first set of training activities and the college is equipped to issue formal certifications to students undergoing the training.

An initial group of 25 students will have the opportunity to participate, spanning 18 to 24 months, with a six-month internship at a renewable energy company from the RES4Africa network, notes the statement.

EWSETA invites industry partners to provide valuable work-integrated learning opportunities, such as internships, for TVET learners.

RES4Africa, Nkangala TVET College and EWSETA note the potential of renewables in SA, particularly in Mpumalanga. They encourage open dialogue between lecturers and industry representatives to further emphasise the importance of pursuing careers in the renewable energy field.

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