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Africa|Design|Energy|Installation|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Solar|Storage|Training|Water|Maintenance|Solutions
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EWSETA develops, implements specialised renewable energy, water training programmes

EWSETA CEO Mpho Mookapele

EWSETA CEO Mpho Mookapele

1st March 2024

By: Darren Parker

Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online

     

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To support the development of critical skills within the water and energy sector, the Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (EWSETA) is developing and implementing specialised renewable energy and water resource management training programmes in a bid to align with industry needs and technological advancements.

Among the courses in the pipeline are water works management, solar panel installation, wind turbine maintenance and other green energy solutions.

“We don’t want to leave South Africa’s young people and workforce behind. It is important for businesses to share their skills plans with us, so that we can capacitate learners accordingly.

“Together with government and private entities, we are collaborating to fast-track skills development initiatives that seek to upskill and reskill employees to meet the workforce demands of the changing energy and water sectors,” EWSETA CEO Mpho Mookapele said during a media briefing, in Johannesburg, this week.

She said the EWSETA was in the process of developing qualifications that would respond to gaps identified in the current curriculum. Some of the skills programmes that will be introduced include wind turbine operation, biogas installation, microgrid and battery energy storage operation, as well as solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacture, design and installation.

“When the sector needs certain skills, we are committed to working with industry to build these capabilities. Ultimately, we exist to ensure industries are successful,” Mookapele said.

She noted that, owing to the boom in the solar PV sector in particular, the EWSETA was also working with industry to ensure minimum skills requirements are mandated for the PV Green Card training.

The South African PV Green Card is a quality assurance standard for solar PV installers, and it is hoped that these minimum requirements will mitigate against substandard installations.

Mookapele said the EWSETA was actively looking for partners that will enable retrofitting technical workshops for technical vocational education and training colleges, to ensure they are responding to the technological developments in the industry.

In the water sector, the EWSETA is partnering with water boards, municipalities and private companies to develop water-related qualifications that aim to address the challenges surrounding the provision of clean drinking water and the upkeep of wastewater treatment plants. 

In response to the evolving water landscape, Mookapele said a new Water Works Management National Qualification Framework (NQF) level 6 qualification had been registered. The EWSETA was also in the process of developing a Water Resource Management qualification at NQF level 8, as well as a skills programme for a water conservation practitioner. 

She noted that advances in water treatment processes would require the development of qualifications that responded to the future water treatment landscape. These future technologies included biological water treatment, smart water grids and desalination, which were critical for the development of the green hydrogen economy in South Africa.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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