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Solar energy as a future profession

Ein junger Mann mit blauem Hemd und blauem Helm steht an einem Solarpanel und schaut in die Kamera.
Abdul sees his future in the solar sector.

Solar energy as a future profession

Anyone looking for a professional opportunity in solar technology in Pakistan can take part in a training course organised by the PGFRC. 20 participants made use of this offer – and already have clear ideas for their future.

A series of solar modules on a roof in Lahore's bustling Mughalpura district is being inspected by 28-year-old Abdul. He searches for cracks, discolouration and accumulations of dirt that could cause defects. Soon he wants to do this professionally. A large number of solar energy companies are currently being set up in Pakistan. But Abdul is still learning. Roof inspections form part of his training to become a solar technician specialising in photovoltaic systems.

Like many others, Abdul has returned to Pakistan from abroad and now wants to build a future for himself. Abdul had spent 18 months in Germany. But a family emergency around two years ago meant that Abdul returned to Karachi, his home city.

This training course provides an opportunity for him and the other participants to realign themselves professionally. The training course is not only intended for returnees. People who have remained in Pakistan can also take part. All of them are hoping for better career prospects. Abdul reckons that the opportunities in the solar sector are good: “Solar energy is a growing trend in Pakistan. This is due to the ongoing energy crisis, with the result that solar installation technicians are currently in high demand”, he says.

The A to Z of becoming a solar technician

The training course lasts for a month and is taught by experts. It focuses on practical training, which is supported by theoretical instruction. The training course is organised by the Pakistani-German Facilitation and Reintegration Centre (PGFRC). It takes place in the Skill Technology Park run by the Technical Educational and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA). This is a well known technical institute in Lahore.

The training course covers the installation, maintenance and repair of solar modules. The participants can enter the sector with confidence once they have completed the course. The PGFRC provides the participants with accommodation for the duration of the course. They’re also given safety equipment that they can use during their practical training. All of the participants receive a certificate at the end of the course, and a starter kit containing the essential tools. These include a solar radiation meter, a digital earth tester, a wire stripper and a digital lux meter.

Ein junger Mann in dunkler Jeans und hellem Hemd hält ein Solarpanel in den Händen. Er trägt einen blauen Schutzhelm.
Imtiaz wants to set up a solar workshop in his village.

The practical lessons take place in a fully equipped laboratory. It features multiple workstations, prototypes of solar modules, tools, inverters and batteries. These enable the participants to gain practical experience. A participant at one of the workstations is inspecting copper wires to check them for corrosion and burns. He’s the same age as Abdul and is called Imtiaz. He comes from the Chiniot District. Imtiaz is one of the participants who never spent time abroad. He has a diploma as an industrial technologist in electrical engineering. He previously worked in construction and in a factory. But he couldn’t get a permanent job and was ultimately looking for work. He wanted a stable income in the village where he lives.

There are frequent cuts in the electricity supply to his village and surrounding areas, so solar energy is becoming increasingly popular in the region. Imtiaz plans to set up a solar installation workshop in his village.

Ein junger Mann in weißem Hemd und mit blauem Helm prüft ein Gerät.
Jahanzeb would like to use his contacts abroad to improve his future solar business prospects.

Solar technology resulting in self-employment

Imtiaz isn’t alone in his plan to become self-employed. It’s also something that participant Jahanzeb would like. He wants to launch a business that installs solar modules. Jahanzeb is 29 years old, an engineer and a recent returnee to Pakistan. He studied in China and worked for a while in Qatar. He lives in Taxila in Rawalpindi District. Jahanzeb used to work on various construction projects and in several cement factories.

But his goal has always been to start his own business. He hopes that the training course at TEVTA will give him a good start. Jahanzeb says that he wants to use the contacts from his time in China to develop his own business. He plans to import the solar modules from China, for example. He therefore wants to use his experience to improve his future professional opportunities in Pakistan.

As of: 04/2023

This text is written in simple language to ensure that it’s easy for everyone to understand.

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