Home Affairs Minister Walter Roban announced today that 20 local students completed their training last week, who are now preparing for their final exams to become certified Level One Solar installers later this month.

The programme, held in partnership with Connectech, saw the training spots “hotly contested with over 150 applicants but space for only 20”.

Speaking at a news conference held today, the Minister said: “Understanding that many applied that did not meet the essential criteria for the course, of having some electrical and construction experience, the Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to help fix this challenge through the Department of Energy.

“I am pleased to announce today the initiative that the Department of Energy will be undertaking with the Construction Association of Bermuda. A course of study through the NCCER, the National Center for Construction Education and Research, will be offered this fall,” he added.

“The NCCER is a non-profit organization whose mission is to build a safe, productive and sustainable workforce of craft professionals, with a vision to provide universally recognized training in various construction sciences. The NCCER is sponsored locally by the Construction Association, and today we have with us one of the NCCER’s Master Trainers, Mr Patrick Caton.

 

“While we are still working out the details, I can share a few of the highlights. Firstly, the course will be offered to those who have no experience in the building trades whatsoever. The only requirement will be to have basic numeracy and literacy skills, which one might acquire with a basic high school diploma or equivalent. Secondly, unlike last week’s solar training intensive, held over five days, this course will take at least 200 hours and require a firm commitment from the participants.

“Starting with the basics of site safety and moving onto equipment operation and mathematics in construction, students will complete module after module they achieve the equivalent of a Level One Solar Installer Certification.

“I am particularly excited about the modularity of the NCCER courses and the opportunity for students to add on additional training modules later. This training will stand participants in good stead, whether or not they focus exclusively on solar installations. The best part of all of this is that it will be offered free of charge to participants. For this reason, I wanted to talk about it today to ensure that those interested had the opportunity to submit their information in good time.

“Effective immediately until the 31st of August, I will ask that you submit your request only once, including your name, contact information, and a brief description of your current situation to energy@gov.bm. Those who had applied for the last week’s course but who were not selected need not apply again,” said Mr Roban.

“We will focus on those who are presently unemployed, followed by the underemployed, and then other suitable candidates as space allows.

“Once again, that’s energy@gov.bm to apply for this exciting new program, or to ask any questions.”

In closing, the Minister said: “Thank you and I wish all of Bermuda a safe, healthy, and enjoyable Emancipation, Mary Prince and Cup Match holiday.”