Reducing global carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 is essential to limit the devastating impact of climate change. As businesses across all sectors transform and adapt to establish a low-carbon economy, it is vital that the shift is inclusive of workers and communities. That’s why at CDC we’re keeping decent job creation and skills development at the forefront of our climate change approach, and we’re supporting a ‘just transition’. This means we’re investing in businesses which create new green jobs in low carbon sectors, and we’re working with investees to generate jobs for local communities.
Ayana Renewable Power is an Indian independent solar and wind-generation company launched by CDC in 2018. The business supports the development of utility-scale renewable power in parts of South Asia which suffer from power deficits and are more dependent on coal power. Currently, Ayana is developing 1.1 gigawatts (GW) of renewable power capacity across South Asia.
One of Ayana’s priorities is working with and supporting the local communities living and working in its development locations. We worked in partnership with Ayana, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) on a pilot skills development programme for communities living near Ayana’s new solar powerplant. The programme provides training for potential employment in the solar park – including operations and maintenance skills, as well as digital literacy and job readiness. Recognising the challenges women face in entering employment at the solar plant, due to perceptions about their capability in that environment, the programme was specifically targeted at women.
A total of 183 people were trained, and a third of those who completed the training were recruited immediately. The programme is not only building a local skilled workforce, which adds business value for Ayana, but importantly also secures livelihoods as economies shift to sustainable, low-carbon pathways. Following the success of the pilot, Ayana is now looking to replicate the programme when it develops other power projects.