For those eyeing jobs in the energy sector, solar companies could just be their next big destination. It is estimated that for every 10 jobs created in solar factories, there will be 15 jobs created downstream.

Keeping in mind the rising demand for skilled and trained manpower in the solar sector – both equipment manufacturing and power generation, SEMI India has taken the lead in offering a short term skill development course on ‘Off Grid Solar PV Components and Systems' to provide opening for employment to budding youth in the emerging energy sector.

According to Debasis Paul Choudhury, president SEMI India, the course would provide skill training on the manufacturing side to electrical engineers and mechanical engineers to design, civil, operations and maintenance engineers in power generation with experience in traditional power sector who are in high demand across levels.

He said talent is scarce as there are few colleges or institutes offering courses dedicated to solar energy or renewable energy. According to some estimates, there are 25 institutes in India offering courses on energy studies, with renewable energy as one of the subjects. SEMI is a global industry association serving the manufacturing supply chains for the microelectronic, display and photovoltaic industries. PV Group represents SEMI member companies involved in the solar energy manufacturing supply chain.

For those eyeing energy sector jobs, solar companies could just be their next big destination. It is estimated that for every 10 jobs created in solar factories, there will be 15 jobs created downstream, in installation, financing, project development, and distribution. Globally around 800,000 people are employed in the solar industry, with 300,000 people in Europe alone. Currently, US solar industry employs about 150,000 people and approximately 6,000 people are employed in the Indian solar industry.

Speaking about the benefits of the programme, Mr. Choudhury said solar energy possesses tremendous potential in bridging India's energy demand-supply gap in the future.

There are various challenges for this industry, including lowering cost of production, increasing R&D, consumer awareness and financing infrastructure. The rapidly developing solar/PV industry in India, motivated by the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) as well as State government policies, is already experiencing a severe shortage of adequately trained and skilled technical manpower in achieving its early goals.

Further phases of the JN-NSM and the roll out of State government solar policies across the country will accentuate the need for trained technical personnel across all expertise segments from design, engineering and manufacturing to installation, operation and maintenance of solar PV systems. He claimed that a trained/skilled employee in a solar industry can do well for himself with a decent salary. Solar companies have been poaching talent from top conventional power companies in the public and private sectors. Experienced professionals are hopping from one company to another every six months for better compensation packages.