New Zealand’s national new energy centre, Ara Ake, and the regional polytechnic for Taranaki, Western Institute of Technology in Taranaki (WITT), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate in the acceleration of renewable energy development in Aotearoa New Zealand.

As a result of the agreement, WITT will be focusing on developing the renewable energy workforce and will initially deliver a programme in 2022 to upskill electricians in solar panel installation. WITT will also deliver two energy courses for third year Bachelor of Engineering Technology students.

Ara Ake will offer scholarships to students taking energy related courses and who are well connected to their community to use their learnings to make a difference.

Ara Ake and WITT will collaboratively develop internships and mentorships at Ara Ake headquarters in New Plymouth. Where possible, WITT employees will have access to space within Ara Ake to teach energy related micro-credentials.

“We are delighted to announce our MoU with WITT,” says Ara Ake Chief Executive, Dr Cristiano Marantes.

“With the combination of not only our skills, knowledge, and expertise, but the shared recognition of the importance of accelerating low emissions energy in Aotearoa, I am certain this agreement will strengthen the opportunities for students and the region’s transition,” Marantes concludes.

“Our aim is to also support Venture Taranaki’s regional economic development plan launched in 2017-2018”, says WITT Chief Executive, John Snook.

“We are focused on providing education that supports a workforce transition to a net-zero future and I am delighted to be aligned with Ara Ake under our new agreement.”