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Natural Resources Canada: Government of Canada Supports Training for Solar Energy Workers

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, Dec 08, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- Workers in Canada's growing solar-energy sector will receive additional skills support from the Government of Canada, the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Natural Resources, announced today.

"Solar energy will play an important part in securing a clean energy future for Canada and in providing good, skilled jobs for Canadians," said Minister Raitt during a speech at the Canadian Solar Industries Association, Solar Conference 2008. "The projects our Government is supporting today will help us reach our goal of having 90 percent of Canada's electricity derived from non-emitting sources by 2020."

Minister Raitt announced that the Government of Canada will partner with the Electricity Sector Council to develop new occupational standards for solar equipment installers. In addition, the Government will support the Association of Canadian Community Colleges as they develop a national curriculum for designers and installers of solar energy systems, to be shared at no charge with colleges and institutes across Canada. Courses will include design and installation for commercial and residential solar hot water system and for various applications and sizes of photovoltaic systems.

"With the support of Natural Resources Canada, we are delighted to partner with the Canadian Solar Industries Association in the development of occupational skills profiles for the solar industry in Canada," said Catherine Cottingham, Executive Director, Electricity Sector Council. "These profiles will provide a framework for the development of curriculum which will greatly assist the industry in developing the workers it needs to support the growing interest in solar energy."

"Colleges and institutes produce graduates with the advanced skills required to improve Canada's economic productivity. Our solar industries are growing rapidly and the demand for highly qualified persons to support the industry is strong. The development of a national curriculum is a key step forward," said James Knight, ACCC President and CEO.

Funding for these investments will come through the ecoENERGY Renewable Heat Program, which is a key part of the Government of Canada's plan to fight climate change by achieving an absolute reduction of 20 percent in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
FOR BROADCAST USE:

Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt today announced two new initiatives that will support skills development for solar energy installers and designers. The Electricity Sector Council will develop occupational standards for solar equipment installers, and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges will support the development of a national curriculum.

The following media backgrounder is available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media:

ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat
NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media.

Contacts:
Media may contact:
Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations
613-992-4447

Association of Canadian Community Colleges
Lorna Malcolmson
Manager of Communications
613-746-2222 ext. 3123

Electricity Sector Council
Sanela Turkanovic
Project Manager, Communications
613-235-5540 ext. 223

The general public may contact:
Mon-Fri, 8:30-4:30 EST
613-995-0947
TTY: 613-996-4397 (teletype for the hearing-impaired)
questions@nrcan.gc.ca

SOURCE: Natural Resources Canada and Association of Canadian Community Colleges and Electricity Sector Council and Canadian Solar Industries Association
mailto:questions@nrcan.gc.ca

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