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The Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (EWSETA) launched upskilling programs for employees to train them in renewable energy and water resource management fields.

During a media briefing on Tuesday in Johannesburg, EWSETA CEO Mpho Mookapele explained that these programs will feature various courses that revolve around water works management, solar panel installation, wind turbine maintenance and other green energy solutions.

Mookapele said that EWSETA is currently upskilling employees to educate them about wind turbine operation, biogas installation, microgrid and battery energy storage operation, solar PV manufacture, design and installation.

"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," she said, SA News reported.

"As such, we aim to move with agility to ensure that these programs and qualifications are concluded and submitted for registration with Quality Council for Trades and Occupation (QCTO) and South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA)," she stated.

EWSETA has joined hands with water boards including municipalities and private industries to develop skills in employees to solve challenges around clean drinking water and wastewater treatment plants.

She noted that the world is transitioning towards net zero to curb the impact of climate change, noting that the traditional career landscape is changing. Hence, it is required to "future-proof" the workforce.

EWSETA is "taking strides to harness the opportunities that these exciting changes present," Mookapele added.

Furthermore, the CEO also highlighted the importance of businesses sharing their skill requirements with EWSETA, so that the organization can help the employees to learn 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," Mookapele said.

She also shared concerns about the lack of green skills, noting that only one out of eight employees globally possess one or more green skills.

"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," she added.