Training of trainers for renewable energy

Saar-Lor-Lux-Umweltzentrum gGmbH • Photovoltaics plant for energy supply and training

Trainer explains something on switchboard

The Saar-Lor-Lux-Umweltzentrum gGmbH (UWZ) was established in 1994 by the Chamber of Crafts of the Federal State of Saarland and 25 trade guilds. The centre advises companies and public institutions in the areas of environment, climate protection, renewable energy and energy efficiency. An approved provider of continuing education, it trains energy advisers for buildings in the trades and organises vocational training and continuing education courses in this field.

Since the mid-1990s, the UWZ has been supervising several projects in Africa, including South Africa, the Ivory Coast, Benin, Djibouti and Tunisia. The co-operation activities are focused on renewable energy and energy efficiency. Moreover, in the context of chamber association partnership projects, the UWZ provides support in the establishment of chambers and training centres, in the training provision for instructors and in the development of curricula. Currently, four members of staff are responsible for the ongoing projects in Djibouti and Tunisia.

Since 2010, the UWZ has been implementing a new vocational training programme on the topic of renewable energy in Djibouti on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Sequa organisation, which organises projects for the BMZ. Djibouti is a small country located in the Horn of Africa with more than 350 days of sunshine per year and an energy supply that fully relies on fossil fuels. It has neither infrastructure nor experience with respect to renewable energy.

  • two men in a workshop stand at a machine
  • man screws on an apparatus

The main objectives of the project are improvement of earning and employment opportunities in the field of renewable energy in Djibouti. To this end, the UWZ co-operates with two partners on site: the LIC "Lycée Industriel et Commercial", a technical and commerical vocational college in Djibouti, and the national Chamber of Commerce CCD "Chambre de Commerce de Djibouti". In the context of this project, the UWZ has installed a photovoltaics facility at the LIC, which not only provides the college's administrative building with electricity, but serves also as a training facility for future training courses that are being developed together with the college in the context of curricula.

In addition to equipping the local vocational training centre with machinery and establishing an advisory structure for renewable energy and energy efficiency at the Chamber of Commerce, the UWZ is responsible for training several instructors from Djibouti, who are trained in the latest technology in Germany and on site in Djibouti. These instructors attend a four-week qualification course in the Saarland, covering the fields of photovoltaics, solar thermal energy and electrical engineering. The programme comprises the development of practical and theoretical competences within trade businesses and trade training centres in the Saarland, which are also responsible for installing the facility and implementing the trainings in Djibouti.

The UWZ is in the process of implementing a similar project at two training centres in southern Tunisia, likewise with a focus on vocational education and training, renewable energy and energy efficiency. With its "Employment Pact Tunisia", the German Federal Foreign Office has been supporting the development of a national energy strategy in that North African country since 2011. The UWZ is not only responsible for equipping and furnishing the training centres (including a mobile training facility). It also gives Tunisian instructors the opportunity of taking part in a two-week dual system work experience programme in trade businesses and training centres in the Saarland.


This sucess story was first published in the iMOVE publication Developing Skills for Employability with German Partners • 8 Success Stories from the Renewables and Cleantech Sector. The brochure was published in 2014.

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Saar-Lor-Lux-Umweltzentrum gGmbH (German only)