The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has this week announced the launch of the Wind Industry Internship Programme (WIIP) 2024, marking its third consecutive year. The wind energy body confirmed that it is now accepting applications for this exciting initiative, offering young professionals an opportunity to embark on a rewarding journey in the renewable energy sector.
Following the successful launch of WIIP in January 2022, which placed 15 interns within SAWEA member organisations for a year-long internship, the programme expanded its efforts in 2023, providing over 20 interns with real-world experience, some of whom have already transitioned into permanent positions within their assigned member companies.
Speaking to 2023 interns it is clear to see the value of this industry internship, as it helps to bridge the gap between academic knowledge and real-world application, and the mentorship and guidance they receive through the WIIP is truly unprecedented.
“This programme is incredibly valuable for young individuals aspiring to enter the renewable energy sector. It provides a platform to bridge the gap between academic learning and real-world application. The mentorship and guidance received through the WIIP is exceptional, offering valuable insights that can’t be obtained elsewhere,” explained Lorato Boihang, who has been working as an intern, on the SAWEA team.
In the year ahead, 2024, SAWEA has set an ambitious goal to enrol and place 30 talented young professionals. Once again, the WIIP will include a ‘Work Readiness Programme’ – a 10-day initiative designed to equip emerging professionals with essential skills, including workplace etiquette and computer proficiency, ensuring a seamless transition into their prospective roles.
The WIIP continues to offer invaluable hands-on experience to dedicated South African students aspiring to build careers in the renewable energy sector. Its primary objective is to provide recent graduates and those currently enrolled in graduate programmes with a unique opportunity to gain practical work experience aligned with their educational backgrounds and interests, while immersing them in work related to sustainable energy.
“The highlights of this programme are numerous, from the opportunity to work alongside industry experts to gain hands-on experience in the renewable energy industry, and attending informative industry events that are shaping the future of our planet. I’ve not only expanded my knowledge but also built a strong professional network that will last a lifetime,” added Boihang.
Focus Areas: The wind industry encompasses a wide array of skills across its value chain, with specific emphasis on the following broad skill areas:
· Engineering: Energy, Electrical, Mechanical, Chemical, Industrial, Civil, etc.
· Natural Sciences and Mathematics (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Statistics, and Environmental Sciences).
· Administration and Management (Accounting, Business Administration, Finance, Procurement, Human Resource Management).
· Social Sciences/Humanities (Economics, Gender, International Relations, Communication, Population Studies, Law).
· Information Technology (Computer Science, Management Information Systems, Multimedia Web Design, Software Engineering).
Funded primarily by the Energy and Water Sector Education Training Authority (EWSETA), in partnership with the South Africa Wind Energy Association (SAWEA), WIIP plays a crucial role in developing the renewable energy workforce of the future.
SAWEA foresees an increasing demand for professionals across diverse sectors, such as manufacturing, logistics, finance, construction, and operations, as more renewable energy projects go live through the REIPPP bid windows and Private Offtake initiatives. These roles encompass a wide spectrum of functions, including professional services, business services, and sales.
Key prerequisites for these positions include qualifications in engineering, project management, project development, as well as proficiency in environmental authorizations, among other essential skills. Already, several companies in the renewable energy sector have initiated employment drives, generating direct job opportunities and contributing to the sector’s growth.
Interested candidates are invited to register for participation in the WIIP programme by completing the online form by no later than 7 November 2023.
Alternatively, individuals can express their interest in writing by submitting their CV, along with certified proof of qualifications and ID to email@example.com. For more information and to access the application form, please visit the SAWEA website: www.sawea.co.za.