Hundreds of Syrian refugees and their Turkish hosts will gain the skills to find jobs in Turkey’s rapidly expanding solar and wind power sectors, thanks to a new network of renewable energy laboratories established by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Turkish Ministry of National Education. The first five provinces – Bursa, Hatay, Mersin, Kocaeli and Konya – were selected for their renewable energy potential and the presence of large numbers of refugees.
South Korea is providing USD 2.2 million for the initiative. On top of USD 1.7 million in funding, allocated for 2019 and 2020, USD 500,000 has been granted to expand the activities to more provinces and beneficiaries in 2022.
The programme incorporates training in the manufacture, installation and maintenance of solar and wind power systems
The laboratories will offer a 247-hour curriculum that was designed specifically for the programme; it incorporates training in the manufacture, installation and maintenance of solar and wind power systems. At least 500 Syrians and Turkish peers – one fourth of them women – are expected to complete the course by March. Graduates will receive official certification from the Lifelong Learning Department of the National Education Ministry, UNDP said in a press release.
The five renewable energy laboratories combine theoretical instruction with hands-on practice. All have been outfitted with state-of-the art equipment for use by trainees, including solar panels, wind turbines, automation systems, electrical and electronics infrastructure, and occupational health and safety equipment. The labs are also meant to serve as research and development resources for local universities, the private sector and civil society.
At least 500 Syrians and Turkish peers are expected to complete the course by March
“Training people to work in Turkey’s renewable sector is an investment in a green future,” said UNDP Resident Representative Louisa Vinton, speaking at the official launch of the laboratory in İskenderun in Hatay. “This initiative will help Syrian refugees and their Turkish hosts gain the skills they need to find good jobs and support their families while giving a boost to an emerging economic sector with a growing need for skilled labour.”
Yusuf Büyük, Director General of the Lifelong Learning Department, said the initiative reflects a broader commitment to ensure that the country’s workforce is ready to perform the jobs of the future.
The training is just one component of a larger, USD 75 million UNDP programme dedicated to improving livelihoods for Syrian refugees
“Korea is proud to contribute to this innovative initiative, which will promote the self-reliance of Syrian refugees while also addressing the needs of unemployed people in Turkish host communities,” said Kang Jung, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Korean embassy.
The training in renewable energy skills is just one component of a larger, USD 75 million UNDP programme dedicated to improving livelihoods for Syrian refugees and their host communities, supporting the delivery of public services and promoting social cohesion.