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Home » EWSETA launches an African-first Hydrogen course showing the power of partnerships in the JET Part 2

EWSETA launches an African-first Hydrogen course showing the power of partnerships in the JET Part 2

Even more important than the new skills required to drive the Just Energy Transition (JET) are the behavioural changes needed to ensure that all citizens, corporates, civil society, academia and learners understand the importance of this journey – not only for economic benefits but for a cleaner planet. This is the second part of a two-part article.


Also read Part 1 here

Consequently, workers must be adequately trained, particularly in the following skills:

  • Renewable energy technologies and systems
  • Energy efficiency
  • Energy management and analysis
  • Sustainable development practices
  • Project management and implementation


Inevitably, the workforce of the future must be proficient in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, as these can provide the foundation critical to understanding and applying renewable energy technologies.

Indeed, this imperative comes via the JETP Political Declaration, which makes it clear that the Government aims to: “[E]stablish an ambitious long-term partnership to support South Africa’s pathway to low emissions and climate-resilient development, to accelerate the just transition and the decarbonisation of the electricity system, and to develop new economic opportunities such as green hydrogen and electric vehicles among other interventions to support South Africa’s shift towards a low carbon future.”

EWSETA has been keen to promote collaboration between Government, business and academia to support energy skills development. The EWSETA already offers a range of training programmes and initiatives, including apprenticeships, internships, learnerships and skills programmes. One such example is the first in the country – the Hydrogen Fuel Cell System Practitioner skills programme which seeks to drive knowledge in the energy sector.

Striving to stay ahead of the game in providing the sector with programmes that will support businesses and the Government in keeping the pipeline qualified and empowered with the appropriate skill set, the EWSETA has finalised the first-of-its-kind skills programme for hydrogen system practitioners to be run by QCTO accredited providers. The intention is to expand the skills programme to a full qualification, and we are currently working with the industry in scoping the full qualification course curriculum.

Recognising that skills development has to evolve in line with the country’s needs of business – and the country, the EWSETA is proud of its Renewable Energy Specialisation Skills Development Programme in collaboration with Power Africa, a US Government initiative coordinated by USAID, which develops skills in renewable energy among 100 unemployed women and 15 Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) lecturers in Mpumalanga, South Africa.

The programme’s long-term impact will equip Mpumalanga’s workforce with the skills to meet the demands of the changing economy and create opportunities for inclusive economic participation, especially for women and youth. The inclusion of TVET college lecturers in this training is a crucial component of the programme’s sustainability, enabling them to train future cohorts and adapt to new renewable technologies.

Another of their key initiatives is the Energy Efficiency Demand Side Management (EEDSM) programme, which promotes energy efficiency and reduces demand in South Africa. The initiative is a partnership between EWSETA and the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) and seeks to advance research on skills required to support emerging technologies and to deliver skills development projects that respond to South Africa’s legislation around Carbon Tax Act and Energy Performance Certificate Regulations to support EEDSM.

The EWSETA is making a vital contribution to skills development in the country via the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC).

SARETEC provides training and skills development programmes focused on renewable energy technologies, including wind, solar, and biomass. They also offer a range of courses and certifications, including a wind turbine service technician programme. These initiatives demonstrate the importance of collaboration between Government, business and academia in promoting energy skills development and supporting the growth of the energy industry in South Africa.

According to the High Representative/vice-president Josep Borrell during the 15th South-Africa-European Union (EU) Ministerial Dialogue on 27 January 2023, the EU assured delegates of its full commitment to supporting South Africa’s vision for a greener and cleaner energy future. Borrell stated that the EU is actively working with South Africa to implement the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) and emphasised the importance of a just energy transition. He also announced that the EU will provide EUR35-million in grants and EUR1-billion of concessional loans through the European Investment Bank to support the transition.

The significance of skills development cannot be overstated when it comes to achieving the ambitious goals of the Just Energy Transition. Our commitment to meeting the country’s needs in this regard remains unwavering. Therefore, EWSETA calls upon businesses, academia and government departments to unite in their efforts to equip South Africa with the necessary talent. It is imperative that we proactively develop the skills required to successfully implement the Just Energy Transition and ensure a sustainable future for our nation. Together, let us embrace this transformative journey and empower South Africa with the expertise needed to drive positive change.

Supplied by PR, edited by Eamonn Ryan