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UT to tackle the gap between the labour market and energy transition

In the case of the energy transition, often only the technology that will make the transition possible is considered. However, this transition is now being held back mainly by the enormous shortage of personnel. With the aid of funding from the NWO-wide Human Capital programme, the University of Twente will start two research projects to close this gap. With 'Gas erop' by Maaike Endedijk and 'GoPro' by Bas Kollöffel (both Faculty BMS), the UT focuses on innovations in learning and working environments in the technical installation sector.

"New knowledge and skills are required from existing staff. And to solve this, a collaboration between science, education and the business community is needed," says Endedijk. Throughout the Netherlands, three such projects have received funding from NWO, two of which are based at the University of Twente.

Learning Communities

Both projects use the promising concept of Learning Communities. In so-called Learning Communities, education and business work together to solve issues such as how to get an entire neighbourhood off gas in a good way. It is not yet known how these 'Learning Communities' can best be designed. The questions that the Learning Communities are working on come out of the field. The research provides fundamental insight into learning and innovation in learning and working environments and provides concrete and practical tools for the installation sector.

An installer used to work with one dominant energy source and that was gas.Maaike Endedijk

Two projects

The two projects investigate two different forms of communities. "In the 'Gas erop'-project, Learning Communities are formed around innovative business projects, to which specialists and students from the education sector are added," says Endedijk. Everyone learns with and from each other and what they have learned can be applied in practice immediately.  Each Learning Community then shares its insights with the other projects.

The 'GoPro'-project focuses on improving the integration of the theory of education with practice. "GoPro technology can possibly connect teachers, practitioners and students in order to share knowledge and feedback. Via a video platform, students are trained to become skilled, reflective, self-directed and also lifelong learning professionals", says Kollöffel.

Broad cooperation

The 'GoPro'-project is led by Bas Kollöffel. He works with the departments of research methodology, measurement and data analysis (Faculty BMS) and Construction Management & Engineering (Faculty of ET) and various partners outside the University of Twente, such as Hogeschool Utrecht, OTIB, BAM, Koning Willem I College, Alliander, Baas, Stichting BLEI, Bouwend Nederland, GOA Leidingtechniek, O&O fonds Netwerkbedrijven, Heijmans, Visser & Smit Hanab and Volker Wessels.

The ‘Gas erop!’-project is led by Maaike Endedijk and she works together with Saxion Hogeschool, Windesheim Hogeschool, ROC van Twente, OTIB, Stichting ISSO, Stichting Pioneering, and the installation companies from the Twente region: van Dam, Alferink, Nijhof, Geas Energiewacht, Loohuis, Winkels, Engberink and de Groot.

K.W. Wesselink MSc (Kees)
Communication Officer