Let’s have a look at some solar training challenges that your company might be facing regularly.
1) Inability to find qualified freshers and senior engineers, leading to excessive burden on in-house solar training
A common and recurring problem in the solar industry is the lack of skilled freshers who have an understanding of the application of solar energy. With most colleges and institutes not being equipped to introduce full-time programs in renewable energy, there is an undue burden on solar companies to train freshers, right from the fundamentals. Most freshers today only know about solar energy through basic online courses and college projects. Lack of internships in the immediate cities and towns also slows down the professional development of budding solar engineers.
Additionally, due to solar energy being in its nascent stages, there is also a shortage of experienced senior-level professionals in the roles of solar installation, project management, solar design, R&D, manufacturing, business development, etc.
2) Unstandardized, theoretical or disconnected training offered by third party consultants
With a lack of clear cut standards and policies around workmanship, project quality concerns, varied experience of solar trainers,etc. there is a disconnect and differentiation in what is being taught in government-sponsored solar training programs and the on-ground application. With solar energy being a rapidly advancing field with new innovations, technologies, and best practices being incorporated, the existing mass solar training programs are not able to keep up, leading to an under-trained urban solar workforce.
3) Company’s skillset limited to the knowledge of in-house senior engineers
Most solar-companies are heavily reliant on in-house senior engineers to conduct orientation and training programs for junior and entry-level staff. However, this knowledge is often limited to the personal experiences of the senior team and could lead to a cap in the knowledge transfer that is possible.
4) In-house knowledge defined by first-hand projects, which might not include dynamic, challenging, or international projects
Experience is the best teacher and most solar companies are not in the position to offer their team the experience to learn from high-quality solar projects that involve new challenges and opportunities. It is easy for the nature of solar project installations to get monotonous if the company is not able to land unique tenders and grab onto great clients. The limited engineering insight that solar engineers are able to apply overall, lead to a limitation of the overall capacity and know-how of the solar company, preventing further growth.
5) Time-consuming, expensive & repetitive training process for new hires, followed by micro-management & excessive job shadowing
At an application level, solar energy has been simplified to an extent where the fundamentals and core concepts remain the same across projects and geographies. As and how a company hires for new projects across different cities and states, the lack of access to a trained workforce across a wide geography, leads to repetition of the same training programs, job shadowing of senior level solar engineers and operational inefficiencies only in order to get the newly hired engineers upto pace.
At Reo, our online courses tackle this problem by offering a standardized and scalable training solution for every solar company that can be adapted at any level.
6) Tough work conditions and poor incentives for the on-ground team, leading to strain on work productivity and disparity of skills
Solar companies that install and commission ground-mounted solar projects in remote conditions, come with their own problems where the on-ground team lives away from home for months in tough work and weather conditions and have no incentives other than food, travel, and stay allowances. These engineers often miss the activities and developments that take place in the office with the other engineers, leading to a disparity of knowledge across the team.
7) Inability to allocate resources for systematic in-house training schemes and modules
With constraints around time, resources, and in-house expertise, it is not practical for most solar companies to be able to internally develop their own solar training modules as per the needs of the company. Although this would be an ideal solution, it is not a practical one if solar companies were to chart it on the ‘make’ or ‘buy’ matrix. The lack of standardized, quality-proof, and relevant solar training modules leads to other problems as stated in this article.
8) Inaccessible, inflexible and expensive classroom-oriented solar training institutes
In most countries, there is a shortage of even bad solar training institutes, let alone good ones. Hands-on and in-classroom solar training institutes and programs are not within the reach and budget of every solar company, making the existing infrastructure inadequate. Most solar companies are in the need of a localized solution that they have more control over, and one which brings the expertise of well-rounded solar professionals closer to them.
The objective of Reo is to solve each of these problems by operating as an online solar training institute that every solar company can simply plug-in to their organization. With courses and modules developed by on-ground professionals, every solar training program at Reo is passionately made to cater everything the industry requires in terms of relevance, intricacy and technicality.
Hiring and training a team can get quite challenging and is almost impossible to standardise. This results in poor quality projects delivered to your clients and may cause long term damage to your existing relationships. If you’re looking to design a technically sound solar power plant for your client, where you have kept international best practices in mind, you could check out our online courses on solar design here!
Until Next Time