A switch towards sustainable energy in the Caribbean requires a skilled workforce

This assignment aimed to provide a comprehensive picture of the current human capital and employment opportunities (and the needed skills) related to sustainable energy in Grenada and Saint Lucia. It included a baseline analysis of technical and professional capacity and an assessment of capacity development needs for the sector. It focused on the policy context supporting sustainable energy, the programmes offered by the education institutions on these topics and we will assess workforce needs in the sustainable energy sector.

The project was carried out as part of the REETA Program “Renewable and Energy Efficiency Technical Assistance” and as a follow-up to a similar assessment carried out under the BRIDGE Program “Building capacity and Regional Integration for the Development of a Generation of Entrepreneurs (BRIDGE) in Sustainable Energy and Information and Communication Technologies”.

Competencies and jobs required according to the industry respondents. Source: Survey results (confidential report).

Key findings of the research can be summarised as follows:

  • The region’s energy policy calls for a fundamental transformation of the energy sector through sustainable energy. While Grenada and Saint Lucia have developed National Energy Policies and set renewable energy targets, the installed capacity of renewables is negligible.
  • Based on the sustainable energy development ambitions it is assumed that the industry will grow and with that the need for a skilled workforce. Of the different technologies, it is expected that solar PV and geothermal will create the largest number of new positions. Based on projections, it was estimated that in the next ten years there will be a need for 400 to 1 351 job-years during construction, installation and manufacturing and 17 to 76 jobs during operation and maintenance in both countries combined. Around 33 additional job-years can be created if each country reaches a 15% energy savings target (based on their current electricity consumption).