Australia, For Installers, Policy, Renewables, Solar, Storage, Uncategorised

Knowing where the renewable wind will blow

Who will train Australia’s renewable energy workforce to meet soaring demands?

The answer lies at Holmesglen Institute, a frontrunner in renewable energy training.

Holmesglen offers cutting-edge training that not only meets standards but sets them apart.

With a steadfast commitment to being future ready and environmentally sustainable, Holmesglen has become a key contributor in shaping a workforce primed for the renewable revolution.

According to David Tolliday, Senior Renewable Energy Instructor, Holmesglen’s renewable energy curriculum bears testament to its commitment to keeping pace with the evolving industry needs. The institute caters to a diverse range of learners, empowering them with the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in the renewable energy sector.

“Depending on the course or apprenticeship they complete, the knowledge and skills developed at Holmesglen can be transferred into various sectors of the renewable energy industry,” Tolliday said.

“Our electrician graduates can work on solar, batteries, and wind installation and maintenance, our electrical fitter graduates can work on the wind turbine maintenance and our engineering graduates can work as fabricators and welders on the large wind  turbines.”

A recent Jobs and Skills Australia study stated that Australia must rapidly develop its skilled renewable energy workforce, requiring 32,000 more electricians, 450,000 clean energy jobs, and strategies to address engineer shortages and improve training inclusivity to meet its 2030 targets.

This has set a new requirement for RTOs in Australia and Holmesglen is at the forefront to meet this demand.

Tolliday said 2024 saw a new suite of renewable training units come into effect.

“There is the usual training for electricians and for the first time, non-electricians can get formal training and qualifications to get or further their employment in the renewable energy sector,” he said.

He added that according to regulations, non-electricians can qualify as site surveyors and designers but not as installers, while traders and installers must hold an unrestricted electrical license for installations.

In this context, the institute’s renewable energy curriculum diversification, which offers opportunities for non-electricians, stands out as a significant advantage.

Tolliday said this approach will broaden the talent pool entering the renewable energy sector and establish a more inclusive pathway, particularly benefiting women and others who may not have traditionally pursued electrical trades.

“Recognising the value of time, our courses prioritise efficiency by blending online knowledge acquisition with hands-on, face-to-face learning sessions. Supported by scheduled webinars, students receive ample opportunities for inquiry and assistance,” Tolliday said.

“The face-to-face component further solidifies learning through practical activities and personalised instruction, ensuring comprehensive knowledge enhancement is achieved.”

A training course in Holmesglen Institute, Moorabbin Campus. Image: Holmesglen

Holmesglen’s efforts in aligning its curriculum with industry needs is further showcased through  strong partnerships with leading renewable energy companies and organisations.

“Since our inception, major manufacturers have consistently chosen to partner with us. In 2008, during Clenergy’s nascent stages in Australia, they provided invaluable product and technical support to Holmesglen, cementing a lasting partnership,” Tolliday said.

“This collaborative relationship persists to this day. Over the years, renowned manufacturers such as Solis, Fronius, BYD, PowerPlus, Bosch, and REC have recognised the mutual benefits of participating in our renewable energy programs, enriching both our organisations.”

These collaborations provide students with access to cutting-edge technologies and industry insights, establishing a seamless pipeline between education and employment streams.

Holmesglen’s leading position in renewable energy training is not only embraced by businesses, but also recognised by government authorities.

A prime example of this is the Victorian Government’s $2.1 million funding allocation to upgrade Holmesglen’s renewable energy training facilities. This investment, made in late 2022, bolstered Holmesglen’s capacity to prepare a skilled workforce capable of meeting Victoria’s clean energy transition goals.

The government’s decision to fully fund this major upgrade speaks volumes about Holmesglen’s standing as a leader in renewable energy education and training.

For more information, visit holmesglen.edu.au

This article featured in the February edition of ecogeneration. 

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