India’s renewable energy sector is expected to generate hundreds of thousands of jobs over the coming years, as the country strives to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.
This could help transform India’s rural economy, but it also presents a major challenges, given the skills gap that exists in the country.
India’s expansion of wind and solar power over the next five years could generate 330,000 jobs in areas including manufacturing, project design, construction, business development, and operations and maintenance, according to a report by the World Resources Institute.
The government of India has launched the Skill India mission which aims to train over 400 million people in India in different skills by 2022. Various schemes have been launched to further the aim of skill development. The objective is to enable a large number of Indian youth to take up industry-relevant skill training that will help them in securing a better livelihood. India’s economy is a growing economy and renewable energy is going to be a big contributor to it.
The intent of Narendra Modi and the government is very good behind all these initiatives, but the bureaucratic setup of the government hinders the interaction between the industry and the skill development institutions. Due to this there is a huge gap in the available and the required skill pool.
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, employment opportunities in India’s renewable energy sector will almost double by 2022. The report also noted that renewable energy employment continues to shift towards Asian countries.
The training costs are high, since the attrition rate for skilled people is high – because the demand is much more than the existing number of skilled workers. Companies do not have enough trained manpower that understands the needs of the customer and the technology of the sector, and this may lead to providing solutions that may not be the right ones.
Many clean energy jobs in fields such as construction, installation, sales, and operations and maintenance will go to unskilled and semi-skilled workers – those who lack the formal training or educational background needed to secure well-paid, full-time employment.
Currently to meet the skill requirements many companies like TATA Power, Sterling and Wilson conducts a significant amount of training in-house, and are also working on development of incubation and skill development centres to train its people who are working on site.