ROC van Twente, Saxion University of Applied Sciences and the University of Twente are joining forces to train the professionals who will shape the energy transition. Students from vocational and higher education will work together on energy transition solutions, using a challenge-based approach to learn from each other and develop broad, application-oriented knowledge.
Existing professionals can also participate in this initiative, which embodies the institutions’ ambition to play a leading role in a successful energy transition, both in Twente and beyond.
The energy transition presents the Netherlands and Twente with a series of major challenges. At national level, for example, approximately 7.8 million homes in 13,000 neighbourhoods will have to be made gas-free by 2050. In Twente alone, this involves converting 475 neighbourhoods. Meeting these and other challenges requires both smart and efficient deployment of existing solutions and the development of new technologies. Society therefore needs access to enough highly trained professionals who are also able to respond to new developments by updating their skills. That’s why Twente’s educational institutions will not only work to train new students, but also to further develop the knowledge and skills of existing professionals. They will also collaborate with companies from the installation sector, for example, to set up learning communities.
‘The energy transition will have a major impact on many people’s jobs,’ says Leontien Kalverda, who is leading the University of Twente’s arm of the project. ‘But at the same time, highly trained professionals with the ability to work with the technology of the future will be a key factor in a successful energy transition.’ This calls for developments at all levels: academics who come up with new concepts, trained scientists who develop solutions and make them workable, and skilled professionals who can implement those solutions in practice. ‘We complement each other... in fact, we can’t do without each other. It’s only logical that, from vocational to university level, we take up this challenge together.’
The project is also of great importance for the region of Twente as a whole. ‘Twente’s Regional Energy Strategy (RES) has set the ambition of a 49% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030. This can only be achieved if we ensure that there are enough people with the right knowledge and skills at every level. At ROC van Twente, Saxion and the University of Twente, we are taking our responsibility in this respect. Not only by working towards a more sustainable Twente, but also by strengthening the regional economy.’