Wednesday,6th December, 2017

The first group of seven local electricians will complete accredited solar PV training for the first time in the Latrobe Valley, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.

Lack of qualified installers has limited local businesses being able to use local contractors to meet rising demand in Gippsland’s booming solar industry.

The need for more skilled workers was identified during development of the New Energy Jobs and Investment Prospectus for the Latrobe Valley this year.

The Solar PV Design and Install course was previously only offered in Melbourne, which was prohibiting local qualified electricians, including a number of former Hazelwood Power Station and Carter Holt Harvey workers, from completing the course.

A partnership between Latrobe Valley Authority, Federation Training and Holmesglen TAFE will see Holmesglen delivering the solar training in Morwell this week. On Thursday and Friday participants will travel to Holmesglen’s Moorabbin Campus to complete the practical component of the course at the recently opened Renewable Energy Centre.

The purpose built Renewable Energy Centre solar training facility was created with $275,000 funding from the Victorian Government’s Specialised Teaching Equipment Initiative.

There has been significant interest in attending the course locally. Following review of the delivery of this course, Latrobe Valley Authority will work with local providers on the best way to deliver the training in future, including possible course offerings in the first half of 2018.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio:

“Demand for solar PV is booming in Gippsland and if you think the solar sector is hot now, just wait until the full wave of Victorian Government solar initiatives hits the Valley next year.

“We’re rolling out the Latrobe Valley Home Energy Upgrades, which offers low-income families up to $4500 worth of energy upgrades. Plus energy upgrades for 250 social housing units, 30 public buildings are getting solar, and the Latrobe Valley Community Energy Hub is just getting started”.

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing:

“The Latrobe Valley has always been the home of Victoria’s energy industry and we’re investing to make sure it stays that way.”