Approximately a dozen individuals are set to complete a course in solar panel installation as of Saturday. The three-month part-time course began in July and has been facilitated by industry professional, Alex Spencer.
The course’s organiser, Franz DeFreitas, United Progressive Party (UPP) caretaker for St John’s City South, told Observer that the course is a move towards increasing a “stock of tradespeople” in Antigua and Barbuda.
“Things like alternative energy is something that has to come to Antigua and Barbuda…but we do not have many people in Antigua who are formally educated about that type of technology [solar panels], nor people who are trained to install them,” he said.
DeFreitas anticipates that a foundation will be set for the participants to pursue further certification in the field and ultimately generate an income.
“The idea behind [the course] is to get people so interested that they can now say ‘well since I have this body of knowledge, I can become certified by one of the US or UK-based certification organisations’,” he stated.
The UPP caretaker added that the initiative will also benefit the region as the technicians will eventually be in a position to lend their expertise to other countries.
“I don’t believe we should always or only be preparing people for what’s happening in Antigua and Barbuda. If we are ahead of the curve, we can export this knowledge,” DeFreitas said.
Upon completion of the three-month solar panel technician course, subsidised by DeFreitas, participants will receive a certificate.