Renewables

5,000 Miners from Jiu Valley Turned into ‘Wind Navigators’

Vocational retraining has been gaining more and more ground in Romania lately. Given the acute lack of workforce in various sectors of activity, including in the energy sector, increasingly more institutions and companies invest in attracting and training future employees. Thus, on July 10, Energy Minister Anton Anton visited the Fantanele – Cogealac wind farm, operated by CEZ Romania Group. During his visit, the minister talked about launching the vocational retraining project for miners in Jiu Valley, through which 5,000 miners would be trained to become employees in wind energy production and electricity distribution.

Specifically, the project aims at creating an Academy (the Academy of Vocational Training and Retraining for Renewable Sources and Electricity Distribution), with training units in Tg. Jiu and Craiova.

Basically, about 500 technicians will be trained in these centres annually, for 10 years. Added to these is also the training of 3,000 specialists in electricity distribution.

The certification of miners within the Academy will allow them to work in the installation, operation and maintenance of renewable projects.

“Energy transition established by Europe must take place at a pace that does not affect the energy security of the states or the life of those involved in coal-fired energy generation. We are responsible for the future of those who today depend on mining. Jiu Valley is one of the areas included in the Platform for Coal Regions in Transition and I believe the skills of miners can be easily transferred to the renewable energy sector. The program will train them to an advanced level in the electrical, mechanical and hydraulic fields. This is perhaps one of the most extensive vocational retraining programs with immediate results: employment after graduation. The program is designed so that within 6 months of training any miner can work in one of the wind farms in Romania,” Energy Minister Anton Anton said.

To establish the Academy, the Ministry of Energy, together with the Romanian Wind Energy Association (RWEA), Monsson Operations, Distributie Energie Oltenia (company within CEZ Romania Group) and the University of Petrosani signed a protocol of collaboration in May this year.

“It is our ambition to create energy transition, to contribute to regaining trust in the security of jobs in areas affected by energy transition, through a vocational retraining project that can be replicated at European level,” says Claudia Brandus, President of RWEA – Romanian Wind Energy Association.

“The project proposes a rate of employment and integration in the industry of graduates of 100%,” Sebastian-Petre Enache, Business Development Manager Monsson Group, said.

The project is considered for funding under the Modernization Fund, article d., joined by Romania together with other Member States.

 

Jiu Valley Project in brief

  • Vocational training and retraining of the coal sector employees
  • Transferable skills of the mining sector technicians towards renewable energy and energy distribution
  • Providing job security within a short-term – restoring confidence
  • A model that can be replicated in other European areas
  • Part of the ambition to be energy transition creators
  • Responds to the European challenges of energy transition – Structural unemployment – social deprivation & burden on public finances – no region must be left behind; among the highest number of jobs at risk by 2030 in EU (more than 15,000)

 

Developing a professional Academy in Jiu Valley

Building on experience of the existing Renewable Energy & Electricity Distribution School of Skills (RESS) centre in Constanta:

  • Graduates work on projects abroad and return monthly to Romania, earning revenues far above the average of their regions of origin.
  • Training and retraining courses will allow mining sector technicians to be employed in the installation, operation and maintenance of RES projects and energy distribution networks.
  • During the project’s implementation period (10 years), the aim is to retrain up to 800 technicians in renewable energy and electricity distribution annually, for a total of up to 8,000.
  • Including approximately 3,000 miners in electricity distribution professionals.

The main goals of the project are: Retraining the technical personnel in coal dependent regions in the field of renewable energy sources; Offering training stages and new jobs for up to 500 people annually; Help develop areas by implementing a long-term vocational training and retraining program; Using highly skilled personnel in the renewable energy sector; Getting actively involved in the life of communities where the company carries out its distribution activity; Creating new development opportunities for up to 300 professionals currently working in the mining sector to switch to maintenance and operation of medium, low and high voltage distribution networks in the Oltenia region (Dolj, Gorj, Mehedinti, Olt, Arges, Valcea and Teleorman).

 

Targeted results

The main areas to be covered by the project are: Renewable Energy and Electricity Distribution.

Renewable Energy Vocational and Industry Trainings – 500 new jobs/year

  • Training programs depending on the specialization – 1 month, 3 months and 6 months
  • Advanced professional training in the electric, mechanic and hydraulic fields including GWO
  • Multiple certifications for installing, operation, service and maintenance of wind turbines and PV parks
  • Technical English courses and courses for inspector and operator of renewable energy sources
  • On-site qualifications and paid internships in the industry
  • 500 new junior and senior wind technicians/year

Electricity Distribution Vocational and Industry Trainings – 300 new jobs/year

  • Course duration for achieving the goals – 1 month, 3 months and 6 months
  • Up to 300 participants per year, divided in series
  • The electricity distribution curricula will include 30% theoretical training and 70% practical training
  • Multiple certifications for construction and installation, exploitation, maintenance of DSO/TSO equipment
  • ‘Train the trainer’ programs for the personnel ensuring theoretical and practical training
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