Strengthening education and training for solar market development
Title: Capacity and human resource building for solar market development in Tunisia (RCH-DMS)
Commissioned by: German Federal Foreign Office (AA)
Lead executing agency: Ministère de l'Energie, des Mines et des Energies Renouvelables (MEMER)
Overall term: 2015 to 2018
By 2030, the Tunisian Solar Plan (TSP) aims to meet one-third of the country’s total electricity demand from renewable sources. In particular, it also aims to capture the substantial and as yet untapped potential of solar energy. However, the lack of skilled workers poses a serious obstacle to this plan and is impacting the quality of RE and PV installation, maintenance and operation.
With more than 30% of graduates currently seeking employment, many of whom have technology-based qualifications, employment promotion is the Tunisian Government’s main priority. Attempts to solve the problem – including private sector training initiatives, cooperation between vocational training centres and local companies or the provision of PV training platforms – have so far lacked coordination. The country requires structured, practice-oriented and employment-centred education and vocational training that is mainstreamed into the national education system in compliance with requisite quality standards.
The education and training courses available for the practice-oriented and needs-based qualification of PV specialists are improved. Training institutions network and cooperate closely.
The project supports the Tunisian partners in systematically building up national practice-oriented and needs-based qualification structures that foster employability. The focus is on achieving a nationally recognised curriculum framework for advanced training curriculum in PV systems installation and maintenance with corresponding learning and teaching materials.
In close cooperation with 19 master trainers from 9 public and private partner institutions, 2 PV training programmes are being developed and put into operation. With this participatory approach, the project is strengthening inter-institutional cooperation between Tunisian partners. In particular, it is intensifying cooperation between PV training institutions and solar companies in a bid to support the rollout of needs-based PV training programmes.
The project is geared to corralling existing resources and expanding them in a way that leverages synergies while dovetailing activities to engineer a system. Project support aims to hone skills and build HR capacity for solar market development. Networking and exchanges between Tunisian educational institutions and representatives of the private business sector are also intended to make a substantial contribution to the achievement of the project’s objective.
Improved RE/PV educational programmes have been streamlined in selected Tunisian educational institutions. Also, further training is being standardised nationwide and consolidated through a quality assurance mechanism in accordance with ISO standard 17024:2012.
Further training measures for Tunisian skilled workers also benefit from the instructors’ enhanced knowledge and skills. In the medium term, the project is now on track to improve the employment prospects of Tunisian graduates and skilled workers in RE sector institutions and companies. Thanks to close cooperation between solar power companies and officially accredited private and public vocational training centres, RE/PV training programmes are now held regularly throughout Tunisia. The 200 solar power companies currently operating in Tunisia are increasingly able to recruit the skilled labour they need. The quality of the RE/PV systems installed in Tunisia is increasing in line with improvements in workers’ qualifications. As a result, the ongoing development of the Tunisian RE/PV market is now on a more sustainable footing.