March 2024.

A renewable energy skills development programme, is making significant strides through its focused internship programme. Highlighting this success, Riekie Douw, a De Aar local, joined De Aar Solar Power’s operating team almost eight months ago, as an electrical engineering intern.

Douw’s passion for electrical engineering led him to relocate to De Aar in 2012 to attend Veritas High School, due to its technical subjects offering. Following this, he pursued and completed his National Certificate (N4) in Electrical Engineering at the Northern Cape TVET Urban College, in Kimberley, by 2018. His journey from an eager student to a proficient intern at De Aar Solar Power exemplifies the programme’s goal to cultivate talent directly from the local community.

“Since launching in 2016, our internship programme has annually welcomed a technical intern, contributing significantly to local skills development over nine years,” explained Sulana de Jager, Site Manager at De Aar Solar Power. De Jager, who also began her career as an intern at the company, highlighted the programme’s dual benefits: inspiring local youth to pursue ambitious goals and enhancing the company’s drive to develop a pipeline of skills for the energy sector.

During his internship, Douw has demonstrated a strong commitment to workplace safety and technical excellence. The programme offers interns like Douw a valuable opportunity to apply their academic knowledge in real-world scenarios, enhancing their problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.

He shared his enthusiasm for the role, saying, “Working here allows me to contribute to various tasks critical to the solar facility’s maintenance and operation. It’s rewarding to apply my skills in such a meaningful setting.”

De Aar Solar Power recognises the value of the internship programme in preparing future professionals in the renewable energy sector. “We believe in the power of nurturing local talent to support South Africa’s shift towards renewable energy,” concluded de Jager.

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