Solar Skills - Stand with oil sands workers calling for renewable energy

Solar Skills

Renewable Energy Training Program


  • 100 hands-on training programs.
  • 1000 workers trained in renewable energy installations and retrofitting.
  • High school curriculum materials to get our future tradespeople amped up for renewables.



Solar PV Installation Training

DATE: October 16 - 20, 2017
LOCATION: Louis Bull First Nation, Maskwacis, Alberta
DETAILS: Open to both First Nation and Non-First Nation Applicants
PRICING: $1495 early bird pricing until September 16th

St. Johns, NL


Solar PV Installation Training

DATE: October 30 - November 3, 2017
LOCATION: St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
DETAILS: Open to all electricians (journeyman not required)
PRICING: $1495 early bird pricing until September 30th


Iron & Earth is an initiative led by oil sands workers looking to expand the skills and work scope of the energy trades to include more renewables.

Our first training program will prepare trainees for the boom in solar energy jobs and allow oil, gas and coal workers to both transition to the solar energy sector and take their new skills and knowledge back to their job sites to do three important things: minimize the impact of carbon based energy industries, advocate for a more sustainable future, and speak knowledgeably about the applications and opportunities offered by solar technologies. Priority will be given to out of work or underemployed electricians in the oil, gas and coal industries.

The best part? They will do this while building clean tech infrastructure on schools in or near their community.

Alberta on track for 2000 megawatts of solar by 2025, 385 megawatts in development pipeline right now.

What We Are Looking For


Our Ideal Trainee
  • Out-of-work or underemployed
  • Work history in oil, gas or coal industries
  • Passionate about pursuing education in the trades
  • Willing to undergo criminal record check


Our Ideal School
  • Flat roof
  • Albertan high school
  • Not in need of roofing upgrade in near future
  • Able to provide classroom space for ten trainees
  • Interested in providing renewable energy curriculum to students


Currently Seeking Sponsors
  • Sponsor solar infrastructure on schools
  • Sponsor training program
  • Sponsor other components of Solar Skills
  • Show your support for renewable energy

What Makes Us Different?

Our unique approach will minimize costs for the trainees, many of whom are currently unemployed or underemployed. It will also distribute the knowledge needed to grow and maintain solar infrastructure over a greater geographical area.

Since we are a non-profit led by existing or former oil sands workers, we understand that not everybody can afford to take the time out of their lives to retrain. Our condensed program will prepare you in three renewable energy installation types and energy retrofitting. Best of all, it takes place in or close to trainees communities so trainees don't have to travel away from their families.

As the installations will be deployed on high schools, it will make the future of energy technology visible to the Albertan public in a major way and provide great opportunities for public engagement. Our Solar Skills campaign will also have a high school curriculum component, geared to getting high school students interested in the trades. This is vital at a time when many high school graduates may be questioning the opportunities available to them due to the downturn in oil and gas.

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