“The nation that leads in renewable energy will be the nation that leads the world.”
— James Cameron
Without doubt, renewable energy is on a roll. Denmark is producing 43% of its energy from renewables, and it aims for 70% by 2020. Germany, at more than 25% now and 30% soon, is going for 40% to 45% clean power by 2025, 55% to 60% by 2035, and an incredible 80% by 2050. China, despite many challenges, is the world’s leading source of renewable investment, as well as the largest solar manufacturer. The potential in the job market is huge and new technical competences have already started to be requested by employers in the renewable energy sector. In order to face this urgent need to update skills and competences of professionals, the NE(W)AVE project aimed to create, test and implement a comprehensive learning model for the future professionals in the sector and develop other tools to support VET trainers too, promoting their professional development.
What has been done in these 3 years?
In three years, the project developed an Overall Report containing the results of the research on skills needed for jobs related to renewable energy, available in English, Italian, Greek, Danish, German and Spanish. Through this comparative research the project provided a general glance on the situation in the renewable energy sector and the process of an appropriate adaptation of trained skills in the project partner countries. Moreover, this research gave a clear view of the skill mismatches between job demands and learning offers in the renewable energy sectors of these countries.
For the project consortium the research findings served as a basis for the content development of the NE(W)AVE Open Online Course which is freely accessible by all those learners who want to upgrade and convert their existing “green” competences. This Open Online Course is addressed to future professionals of the renewable energy sector, especially plumbers and electricians, who want to upgrade/convert their competences and requalify themselves in this field. The online course was tested by 24 learners from Italy, Denmark, Austria and Greece who after the piloting had the chance to attend a 2-week mobility in Spain and in Italy. Here the learners were hosted by two companies specialising in renewable energy, Heliotec and St.H, and their mentors and through classes, visits and workshops, the participants not only learnt more about green energies but also boosted their soft skills, such as their communication and intercultural skills, improving their technical English and getting used to working and sharing ideas with people from other countries.
With the aim of supporting VET trainers, tutors and mentors in their acquisition of new competences, the NE(W)AVE project partners also developed an E-toolkit for education professionals in vocational education and training. This online tool, based on innovative training materials, helps VET trainers modernise and diversify their educational offer related to the renewable energy sector and promote the methodology and contents developed by the project on a larger scale. Through this tool, VET trainers can increase their awareness of the competences upgrading methods in VET, increase their interest in using e-learning approach and in mobility opportunities for VET learners.
All the best practices gathered during the NE(W)AVE project led to the development of the NE(W)AVE Opportunities and Recommendations, an excursus from VET learning to jobs in the field of renewable energy. Over the course of the 3-year project, NE(W)AVE has received valuable input from VET stakeholders and key players in the renewable energy sector, which resulted in this output. These recommendations aim at being an inspiration for local and regional stakeholders across the EU on how to enhance the transition of VET learning jobs to jobs in renewable energy and promote the collaboration between VET providers, companies and other relevant stakeholders.
All the NE(W)AVE project results were presented at the national Multiplier Events arranged in Spain, Italy and Greece. Here the partners, despite the limitations faced due to COVID-19, held final events to introduce and promote the NE(W)AVE Policy Recommendations and all other project outputs. Also, the project partners defined the last steps and actions to spread the results and support learners, teachers, trainers and stakeholders in the use of all the NE(W)AVE products. All the participants were invited to access the project outputs, which are freely downloadable on the multilingual NE(W)AVE website at https://newaveproject.eu/ . The outputs are available in English, Italian, Danish, German, Spanish and Greek; including the Open Online Course, which through its innovative learning modules, offers learners new updated knowledge and both technical and soft skills, while offering VET trainers new materials and methods to be implemented in their professional course in the renewable energy sector.
Considering the urgent necessity to train new technical professionals in the green sector over the next years, the NE(W)AVE project offers its results and innovative tools to support both learners and VET trainers in the new demand for skills and competences and supports the creation of new and updated professional figures, contributing to increase the employability and inclusion of NEETs and VET learners. The NE(W)AVE partners will keep on promoting the project results and the close cooperation among stakeholders from the education and business field.
If you would like to learn more about the NE(W)AVE project, please contact Simona Palumbo at email@example.com.