Chile has exceptionally good climatic conditions for wind energy and solar energy. At the same time, however, the South American country is struggling with a shortage of skilled workers in the field. Fraunhofer as one of the leading research institutions in this field offers various further education courses in the topic of renewable energies. In our new brochure, we list our wind and solar energy seminars and diplomas that are specific to the target group of Chilean skilled workers in this field of activity, all of which can be studied online and in English.
Due to its geographic and climatic conditions, Chile offers excellent conditions for various research areas. For example, the Atacama Desert in Chile is the world’s driest desert, which at the same time has the most intense solar radiation in the world. The field of regenerative energies is becoming more and more important in Chile as well as worldwide. As the effects of climate change are already being felt in Chile, demand for technologies in the areas of environment, energy and hydraulic engineering is increasing. Politicians have also been following a course of expansion of renewable energies and the implementation of various energy efficiency measures across party lines for years. However, the country has been struggling for some time with a shortage of technical skills and structural problems in the education system. This shortage of skilled workers is particularly felt in the field of renewable energies, so that external technology providers are now advised to take training measures with regard to their workers, as alternatively delays in projects can be expected.
Structural problems in the educational system
The vocational education and training market in Chile is very complex due to a large number of providers and structures. At the same time, it has great potential, as the cooperation between the training institutions and the business community is not close enough so that, above all, the skills of young professionals rarely meet the needs and demands of the labor market. As a result, there is a lack of training and further education opportunities that provide practical training and are geared to the labor market and its demand. One of the biggest problems of the Chilean economy lies in the high productivity deficit of the working population. On average, workers in OECD member states produce about 40 percent more than in Chile. The reason for this is partially a lack of education, especially in the field of practical work. That’s why, both President Piñera, who has been in office since March 2018, and his predecessor Bachelet are committed to improving the quality of education and expanding market and demand-driven further education offers.
10 years of German experience advantage
Chile has the world’s most profitable conditions in the solar and wind energy sector. In order to exploit this outstanding potential, the Chilean government formulated a new energy policy with plans for 2035 and 2050. They set goals for both the energy matrix and energy efficiency. However, in order to achieve these goals, it is important to tackle the skills shortage already in place, as the skills shortage is partially seen as a consequence of the shortcomings in the education system. Since renewable energies are a central research area of Fraunhofer and Germany is one of the world’s leading nations in this field, the experience advantage of about 10 years that Germany has in the energy transition ahead of Chile can be used here.
Practical know-how thanks to the latest research results
The combination of the know-how gained in Germany and the research results of Fraunhofer Chile Research on the geographic and climatic conditions of the Andean state offers enormous potential for practical further education measures that combine future-oriented and demand-oriented knowledge. Within the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the Fraunhofer Academy is the responsible institution for technology-oriented continuing education. In adapted continuing education formats with different degrees and time periods, the latest research knowledge is passed on to the participants in hands-on training courses. Above all, the method of practical knowledge transfer is hardly offered in Chile, but strongly in demand.
Foundation of a Chilean Ministry of Research
In August 2018, a research ministry was set up for the first time in Chile, which aims to promote investment in research and development by both the state and the entrepreneurial side. The area of investment in research and development in Chile has been highly underdeveloped so far, and for years has been well below the average prevailing in OECD countries. Chile’s economy relies largely on the enormous wealth of natural resources, including lithium and copper. With the expansion of the research and development sector, the diversification of the economy is now to be promoted. Furthermore, by investing more in research and development, the government intends to promote the development of renewable energies for which exceptionally good conditions are to be found in Chile.
Task of the Fraunhofer Academy
The Fraunhofer Academy as a provider of technology-oriented continuing education puts a special focus on the analysis and on meaningful predictions of trends in the technical field. In doing so, it plans its continuing education offers in such a way that it prepares specialists in the STEM area for the future challenges in their respective occupational fields. Especially in the course of technological change, the need for further training and lifelong learning is increasing, as the shortage of skilled workers in Chile clearly shows. By establishing Fraunhofer Chile Research as a local partner in the Chilean research landscape and through cooperation and contacts with local universities and other institutions, Fraunhofer is already integrated into important networks.
Target group-specific further education
After a detailed analysis of the relevant and future-oriented topic areas, a brochure with the appropriate continuing education offers was created. This includes seminars, training courses and study programs specifically addressing the needs of the Chilean renewable energy labor market. All further education courses are offered in English and online to be completed extra-occupationally. Since the brochure is specifically designed for Chilean professionals, the introduction was held in Spanish.
You can download the brochure here.
Lena Barahona ist seit 2022 Stellevertretende Leiterin der Fraunhofer Academy. Außerdem ist sie für die Themenbereiche Didaktik und Qualitätsmanagement an der Fraunhofer Academy zuständig und leitet das Weiterbildungsprogramm „Certified Scientific Trainer*in“.
Frau Barahona studierte Pädagogik, Psychologie und Kommunikationswissenschaft an der LMU München und der Universidad Europea de Madrid. Vor Fraunhofer arbeitete sie knapp 10 Jahre am Klinikum der Universität München (LMU). Dort war sie für Koordination eines Weiterbildungsstudiengangs für den lateinamerikanischen Raum und für die stellvertretende Arbeitsgruppenleitung im Bereich Teaching verantwortlich. Auch leitete sie ein internationales Train-the-Trainer Programm.
Seit 2014 ist Frau Barahona außerdem als freie Trainerin und Coach tätig.