Targeting employability in students who come from underprivileged backgrounds, Spanish solar photovaltiac (PV) company Solarpack partnered with Colegio Salesiano Santo Domingo Savio, a Chilean school to provide vocational training for young people in the maintenance and installation of PV systems and facilitate access to sustainable green jobs.
The project was started in 2018 and last year benefitted 194 students aged 15 to 19 in four year programmes. It is to be replicated in 2023 on the same basis as 2022, which saw Solarpack contribute €29,100 ($31,400) to the programme.
"[As we are ] committed to the environment and to society, our Social Action Plan is based on three pillars: Energy, Education and Employment, which make up the '3Es' that guide the company's strategy to bring sustainable development to the communities where we are present," said Leo Moreno, CEO of Solarpack.
"Through this initiative we aim to promote photovoltaic vocational training among students, supporting the development of young professionals of the community close to the solar plants of Solarpack, and facilitating their access to sustainable green jobs."
In addition to the practicalities of the training programme, students are also offered psychological support in addition to practical guidance from Solarpack staff volunteers.
Throughout the programme, students have the opportunity to complete internships at Solarpack plants and may be hired by the company upon completion. Solarpack is looking to expand the programme across all territories in which it operates.
"The dual emphasis on improving career prospects for vulnerable students while contributing to the skills gap needed to address climate change helped set this entry apart," commented one Environmental Finance Sustainable Company Awards judge.
While another praised it as "a great initiative because it helps to create jobs for the green economy".