#EnergySmartSTART programme strengthens cooperation with engineering gymnasiums

17 January 2024

The comprehensive long-term programme #EnergySmartSTART, initiated by the integrated renewable energy company Ignitis Group seeks to strengthen cooperation with engineering gymnasiums. The programme, which unites various energy initiatives, aims to promote energy careers in gymnasiums, spread knowledge about the transformation of the sector and raise awareness about career opportunities in the energy sector.

The #EnergySmartSTART programme cooperates with Klaipėda Baltijos Gymnasium, VGTU Engineering Lyceum, KTU Engineering Lyceum, and Šiauliai Simonas Daukantas Gymnasium. Cooperation agreements have been signed with several gymnasiums, pledging to promote cooperation on training and learning materials, and knowledge sharing, while raising awareness for careers in the energy sector.

According to Vaiva Rutkauskaitė, Head of #EnergySmartSTART Educational Programmes, energy consumption is constantly growing worldwide, including in Lithuania. As the demand for electricity increases, the training of professionals becomes increasingly important. According to the International Energy Agency, the number of people working in the energy sector worldwide is fast approaching 70 million.

“We are in the midst of a real energy revolution — the world is shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. We need a new approach and new competencies so there are huge opportunities for engineers and energy technicians. In order to assess the need for these professions, we have started working alongside engineering schools to give students a closer look at the transformation of the energy sector and the perspectives it offers,” says Rutkauskaitė.

Jurgita Račkauskienė, Principal of Klaipėda Baltijos Gymnasium, points out that cooperation with the #EnergySmartSTART programme promotes the profession among young people and opens up opportunities for students to look more closely at the latest energy issues.

“Nowadays, students have many career options, so when educational institutions and businesses join forces, they can provide a new impetus to promote engineering studies. New opportunities are opening up to introduce students to the latest energy trends, while  he learning process is becoming more interactive and attractive through the organisation of various educational events and educational trips,” says Jurgita Račkauskienė.

The long-term #EnergySmartSTART programme has been designed to combine various energy initiatives, in order to pre-empt potential challenges in the energy sector, such as retirement age substitution of the energy workforce, a shortage of skilled workers in the energy sector, and an ambitious renewable energy strategy. The programme aims to stimulate interest and involvement in energy development, encourage people to be energy smart, and promote the choice of fields of study that are strategically important for the energy sector.