The ministry of education and the King and Queen of the royal family of the Netherlands engaged our team and other stakeholders, in a workshop which discussed the just energy transition to green energy and it challenges in South Africa.
Nicolaas Faure van Schalkwyk, Manager of the Solar Training Centre, highlighted the importance of how practical up to date industry experience, needs to form part of the training curriculum and experience. "Education institutions are too slow and not dynamic enough to adapt their qualifications to the fast-changing environment in the renewable energy sector. Training providers in collaboration with international industry experience from SUNFarming and technology service providers like Brainstud, can reach more people and assist with making people more employable with micro courses, skills programmes and part qualifications. South Africa has elevated levels of unemployment, but there is also a need for experienced solar PV installers. Something which we in partnership with Johan Schaap from
Brainstud try to achieve"
The SUNfarming/Alensys Solar Training Center South Africa is now in operation since more than 5 years and was realised within a PPP Public Private Partnership program supported by the German DEG/KfW. The most important partner is the North-West University in Potchefstroom.
The SUNfarming Solar Food & Energy Training Centre, already in the 3rd year of operation after completion of the Public Private Partnership, offers training opportunities for students, electricians, teachers from high schools as well as start-up companies and municipal representatives from different regions and departments in South Africa. The training centre, continuously in further expansion for more training opportunities, is in full time operation and delivers fresh vegetables to the North West University Campus, a food store in Potchefstroom (Pick&Pay) as well as several catering service companies.
All SF bio food products with grade A quality are supplied to the prime quality customer Pick&Pay, all secondary quality products are directly marketed by the local SUNfarming trainees and employees in the township locations of Potchefstroom. With this, the employees earn some extra money and thus become small entrepreneurs, partially with own employers already.
The training facility was transferred to our expert skills transfer company SUNCybernetics PTY LTD (SUNCy), under the lead of North West University doctoral student Faure van Schalkwyk. This training company is exclusively used for know-how and skills transfer in the fields of solar technology and food production, operating on a cost covering, non-profit base to ensure constant high quality trainings.
After 6 years of experience, we can confirm the effectiveness of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) with its cooperative structures like DEG/KfW, and German Medium Size Companies, like SUNfarming and Alensys, for a continuous education and training program, as long as the PPP investment is kept in the hand of the German Medium Size Company.
More than 1,000 training sessions have been held so far at the SF Solar Training Center and SF Food & Energy Training Center for participants from across Africa.
Please see our first Solar Training Center marketing video and what participants say:
Newest marketing video Solar Training Center South Africa