Multinational energy management company Schneider Electric said on Wednesday it had, together with a coalition of companies, associations and international organisations, launched a campaign to speed up the deployment of decentralised renewable energy solutions and meet training needs in low energy access countries.
The "Powering Jobs" campaign, will focus on ensuring that skills and training are at the centre of international and national development policy related to energy access. It will complete a study in early 2019 which will provide the first comprehensive data on jobs related to access to energy and identify training gaps that need to be filled urgently.
Schneider Electric said one of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals "to ensure access to affordable, reliable and modern energy for all” could create millions of jobs in emerging countries, but noted that there was a huge skills gap in most emerging states.
"For Schneider Electric, the solution to Africa’s energy needs is a massive deployment of decentralised renewable energy solutions, from primarily wind and solar sources," the company said, adding that it had completed successful projects in Africa and Southeast Asia.
"But for mass deployment, international financial institutions need to see viable business models, and a lack of qualified people is a sticking point."
Schneider Electric said an opportunity existed to transform both economies and standards of living in Africa and Southeast Asia, but countries did not have enough qualified people to deliver this transformation.
In Africa, for example, the Africa America Institute says seven out of 10 young people living in rural areas are out of school, while just two percent of university graduates are engineers.
Schneider Electric said it was committed to reversing this trend.
The company’s "Access to Energy" program aims at training 1 million people, 10,000 trainers, and actively support 10,000 entrepreneurs, by 2025.
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