BY ELEEN KORIR
In the recent past, we put out and advertisement on our social media pages for an energy engineer intern to join our very energized team. In less than one week, we had an overwhelming close to 200 applications coming in from across various engineering fields within and beyond the country.
A quick analysis showed applications from 38 different bachelor’s degrees from various learning institutions.
|Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering||2||1.0|
|Bachelor of Science in physics||2||1.0|
|Chemical and Process Engineering||10||5.2|
|Civil and Structural Engineering||1||0.5|
|Electrical and Electronics Engineering||74||38.5|
|Electrical and Information Engineering||1||0.5|
|Electrical and telecommunication Engineering||5||2.6|
|ELECTRONICS AND COMPUTER ENGINEERING||1||0.5|
|Energy and Environmental Technology||2||1.0|
|Geography and Natural Resource Management||1||0.5|
|Industrial & Textile Engineering||2||1.0|
|Industrial and Textile engineering||1||0.5|
|Instrumentation and Control Engineering||7||3.6|
|Manufacturing engineering and technology||4||2.1|
|Mechanical and Automotive engineering||1||0.5|
|Mechanical and Industrial Engineering||1||0.5|
|Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering||4||2.1|
|Mechanical and Production Engineering||7||3.6|
|Mining and Mineral Processing Engineering||1||0.5|
|Physics (Renewable Energy).||1||0.5|
|Renewable energy and biofuels technology||1||0.5|
|Renewable Energy and Environmental Physics||1||0.5|
|Renewable Energy and Technology||6||3.1|
|Sustainable energy and climate change||2||1.0|
From this simple analysis, majority (38.5%) of the applicants had done Electrical and Electronics Engineering and a good number had done Mechanical engineering (17%) followed closely by Chemical and Process engineering (5%) as well as Instrumentation and Control Engineering (4%). Good to note were applications that were somehow unrelated to the energy field, for example, Aerospace Engineering, Information Technology and Agriculture & Bioystems engineering.
In the history of our employing, we have mainly had employees/interns from these 4 qualifications and they have all performed exceptionally well in delivering their mandates as well learning matters related to energy. From this data we can point out that there is a lot of interest by graduates with these qualifications to join the energy field despite the availability of other opportunities in the electrical, maintenance, mechanical and processing fields.
Professionals in the energy field are all rounded persons professionally. Why so? While the other fields are specific, energy sector encompasses all these fields as one needs to understand and have knowledge on a range of fields so as to be able to for example understand the operations of a specific machine in a factory its energy needs. This is also the reason background in majorly electrical, mechanical and Process and Chemical engineering is best suited for those pursuing energy consultancy.
What do we get from this?
There are few employment opportunities available in the country contrary the large number of fresh graduates we get every year in addition those already out in the market tarmacking here and there in search for greener pastures. The emergence of Covid-19 did not make things any better as well as the requirement to have some experience prior to employment by some employers.
What can we do to solve the unemployment issue?
Most of the graduates complete their studies and graduate with minimal knowledge of what to do next, or where to get experience and in most cases what is learn in class is most at times useful in the actual application on site- hence the half-baked analogy being used to refer to the graduates.
Availing of internship and training opportunities for these graduates by companies and institutions or employers will be a great value add to upgrade the graduates to ‘fully baked’ and can easily get opportunities from other employers. In bridging this gap, Eenovators Limited in partnership with WE4F , IEPA , Life-skills has developed and training program dabbed Youth In Energy Empowerment Program (YEEP) to train fresh graduates interested in the energy field on energy and also place them in various industries for internship to gain more knowledge and become ready for the job market. The first Cohort has already been trained on an Energy Audit Technician Course as well as essential skills necessary for them to use in their day to today life experiences.
Lastly, innovation and self-employment can also be an area to explore. In a bid to effect the climate change agenda, students through innovative ideas can find ways of developing gadgets that have zero emissions of the greenhouse gases. From this innovations, one can create a form of business for themselves and even employ others.