Lightforce has developed an absolute trail blazer of a solar training facility offering key skills to help Kiwi’s learn about installing solar, to make industry connections and to expand their overall solar knowledge.
The Academy welcomed its first group of students in April of this year (2022). These students were selected for the course via job seekers through the Ministry of Social Development (MSD). However, Lightforce is now ready to take on anyone who wants to learn the skills required for a career in the solar industry.
What Does The Solar Academy Aim To Achieve?
The Academy’s first goal is to train people how to confidently step into a role within a solar installation company. The students will develop all the skills necessary to assist in the solar installation process, from leaving the solar warehouse to the installation site and back.
In a broader sense, Lightforce want to instil confidence and resilience in their students, helping them to excel in future employment and for day-to-day life.
Lightforce acknowledges that the vast array of job seekers are at different stages of their respective lives and to remove any barriers to learning Lightforce is contributing towards transportation and food costs. Lunchtime is extended so students are able to share life stories and connect with each another.
The Academy has some fantastic minds working on the course, Kenneth Tuaiti in particular brings something that many training institutions lack; cultural inclusion. He weaves in Manaakitanga into the learning process.
Manaakitanga meaning: hospitality, kindness, generosity, support - the process of showing respect, generosity and care for others.
The video below shares the first 9 students experiences, with many discussing the support received during the course.
Hands On Learning
The course teaches students all they need to know on how to confidently take on the job of becoming a solar installer. Included are important tasks such as how to install mounting, clamping solar panels to rails, connecting solar cables together, as well as all safety measures.
Although students won’t learn how to do an electricians job on site, they are shown electricians processes, so as to understand the whole installation process and thus learning how to assist the electrician when required.
The Academies learning facility has demonstration house structures purpose built for practical learning within the class room where students can practise mounting solar panels and connecting wiring. Therefore allowing students to get accustomed to the process before practicing on site. The class room and course environment have been designed for enjoyment and competition, thanks to the ‘gamified learning’ lesson structures.
To assist students in becoming the best solar tradespeople possible, they’ll learn how to create the best experience for their future customers including how to professionally engage with customers.
By completing the initial course that Lightforce offers, graduates can then go into solar trade assistant roles. However, the skills acquired through the course can provide opportunities leading into solar sales and logistical roles that go beyond solar trade assistant positions.
From the first intake of students, 8 out of 9 succeeded at acquiring jobs at Lightforce at the courses conclusion, and the team at Lightforce helped the 9th student find a job more aligned with their goals.
Lightforce is working on developing more programs as interest grows. Sparkys, watch this space! A course for electricians is already in the works.
To apply for the Lightforce Academy or to enquire, click on this link.