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Wind Industry Internship Programme doubles placements for 2023

17th January 2023

By: Darren Parker

Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online

     

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The second Wind Industry Internship Programme (WIIP) will be doubling its placements this year, in addition to offering supplementary work readiness training for the first time.

The programme supports the development of specialist skills that are needed to facilitate the exponential growth of the wind energy industry and support economic growth in South Africa.

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

These interns will be placed across 30 renewable energy companies, which is more than 100% growth over last 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 they need,” SAWEA CEO Niveshen Govender said on January 17.

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, while exposing them to work related to sustainable energy solutions.

This year, the programme will include a ten-day work readiness training segment, facilitated by an external service provider, that will coach the graduates in the soft skills needed to enter the workplace, such as email etiquette, communication and how to work as a team.

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

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

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.

SAWEA anticipates jobs in manufacturing, logistics, finance, construction and operational phases will become available as Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme Bid Window (BW 5) 5 and BW 6 projects come online.

These comprise professional services, business services and sales. Requirements include engineering, project management, project development and skills in environmental authorisations, besides others.

Direct jobs can already be seen through the employment drives that have been undertaken by various companies operating in the renewables sector.

The wind industry has diverse skills requirements. The focus areas of the WIIP are on the several broad skills areas.

Among these are engineering skills in the energy, electrical, mechanical, chemical, industrial and civil sectors.

Skills in terms of natural sciences and mathematics are also desired, including skills in physics, chemistry, statistics and environmental sciences.

Administration and management skills, specifically in accounting, business administration, finance, procurement and human resource management are needed.

Social sciences and humanities skills have a place too, such as skills and knowledge involving economics, gender, international relations, communication, population studies and law.

Finally, there is a need for information technology skills, including knowledge of computer science, management information systems, multimedia web design and software engineering.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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