Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (EWSETA) is creating specialised renewable energy and water resource management training programmes, including water works management, solar panel installation, wind turbine maintenance and other green energy solutions.

Image Credit: DC Studio | Freepik

Chief Executive Officer of EWSETA Mpho Mookapele, reported on growing research that macroeconomic trends and technological advancements continue to disrupt labour markets worldwide. 

The International Energy Agency (IEA) last year revealed that 4.7 million more people were employed in clean energy globally in 2022, compared to 2019.

“We don’t want to leave South Africa’s young people and workforce behind,” says Mookapele, “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,” said Mookapele.

The skills programmes that will be introduced include wind turbine operation, biogas installation, microgrid and battery energy storage operation, solar PV manufacture, design and installation.

Mookapele says, “When the sector needs certain skills, we are committed to working together with industry to build these capabilities. Ultimately, we exist to ensure industries are successful. As such, we aim to move with agility to ensure that these programmes and qualifications are concluded and submitted for registration with OCTO and SAQA.”

Mookapele stressed the need for plumbers to learn about the new technologies available in the industry and to engage in ongoing training and skills development.

The EWSETA is aiming to create partnerships that will enable retro-fitting technical workshops for TVET colleges, to ensure that they are responding to the tech-developments in the industry.

Mpho Mookapele, EWSETA CEO.

Mpho Mookapele, EWSETA CEO. Image Credit: EWSETA

A Water Works Management NQF 6 qualification has been registered. EWSETA is currently developing a Water Resource Management qualification at NQF level 8 and a skills programme for a Water Conservation Practitioner. 

There are a number of advancements in water treatment processes which will lead to new qualifications being developed. This would include biological water treatment and smart water grids.

EWSETA also spoke to developing business and entrepreneurial skills for inclusive economic development. Mookapele also recognised the need for TVET colleges to produce skills specific for industry, including solution-orientated learning, localisation and leadership. Meaningful participation is also of importance.

“As the world transitions to Net Zero, the traditional career landscape is changing, and it is up to all of us to future-proof our workforce. The Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority is taking strides to harness the opportunities that these exciting changes present,” says Mookapele.

Source: EWSETA