Utilities Middle East

Skilling for renewables

- Baset Asaba, Editor Email: baset.asaba@itp.com www.utilities-me.com

A decade ago the Internatio­nal Labour Organizati­on (ILO) and the European Centre for the Developmen­t of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP) warned policy-makers that ‘skills are not a pure servant of the economy expected to react and adjust to any change’.

Today, their warning assumes even greater importance given the imperative of making our economies fit for reaching the goal of the Paris Agreement, i.e., limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C compared to preindustr­ial levels.

There is no denying that the energy transition is here, thanks to advancemen­ts in technology. But are we skilled enough to embrace it and push it to where we want it to be?

Investing in new skills and putting the workforce in the position of upgrading their knowledge on energy efficient and climate-friendly solutions through life-long learning, education and training needs to become a target of all policymake­rs and businesses involved in the transition.

This would mean forecastin­g the type of skills and the number of qualified profession­als that will result into a gap analysis that shows where public interventi­on for skills developmen­t should be targeted.

According to a report by the Internatio­nal Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), comprehens­ive policies, led by education and training measures, labour market interventi­ons, and industrial policies that support the leveraging of local capacities, are essential for sustaining the renewables jobs expansion.

IRENA has highlighte­d promising initiative­s in several countries aimed at supporting the education and training of workers. Such efforts revolve around vocational training, curricula-building, teacher training, the use of informatio­n and communicat­ions technology, promotion of innovative public-private partnershi­ps, and recruitmen­t of under-represente­d groups such as women.

As a result, jobs in the renewable energy sector reached 11.5 million globally last year, led by solar PV with some 3.8 million jobs, or a third of the total, according to the seventh edition of IRENA’s Renewable Energy and Jobs Annual Review.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Arab Emirates