Germany trying to attract ‘solar workers’ from India

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From pv magazine Global

If Germany wants to achieve its solar energy targets set for the second half of this decade, the nation will need to annually install triple the amount it added in 2022, when 7.19 GW of PV were connected to the grid. However, there is currently a lack of skilled workers to deploy PV systems in the country, as in the rest of Europe. Germany alone cannot compensate for the shortage, according to BSW-Solar, the German PV industry association. Workers should therefore be recruited from India.

Under a training program launched by the Indian Ministry of Renewable Energy, young electricians can be trained to become “suryamitra” (solar workers) within three months. To date, 51,000 “suryamitra” have completed the training course. And if the German federal government and BSW-Solar have their way, these Indian specialists will also contribute to PV expansion plans in Germany.

“The placement of well-trained specialists for the solar industry in Germany is important for our energy transition,” said German State Secretary Udo Philipp.

BSW-Solar works with the “Hand-in-Hand for International Talent” project to integrate specialists, with funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the Federal Employment Agency and the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce. BSW-Solar is counting on a new immigration law for skilled workers to arrive in Germany in the summer. It aims to further promote the integration of foreign skilled workers into the German solar industry.

Business representatives say the German federal government has ignored the nation’s shortage of skilled workers for years. At the “Handelsblatt Energie-Gipfel 2023” event in January, companies presented their own initiatives to recruit workers. However, politicians now recognize the seriousness of the situation. This can be seen in the task force set up in the Chancellery to address the shortage of skilled workers.

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