Plumbers and electricians from France and Spain met in Chania with colleagues from Crete experience in photovoltaic and geothermal installations.

In the context of the European Programme "GSSkills", that the Chania Chamber of Commerce is coordinating, transnational partners from Greece, France and Spain, met for the third consecutive workshop in Chania.
In the program "GSSkills", exept the Chamber, which is the coordinating partner, are partipating European Training Centre for Employment (ECTE) based in Rethymnon, the educational organization "Les Compagnons du Devoir et du Tour de France", based in Paris and is a member of UNESCO, and the "company for the economic development of Debabarrena" Debegesa ", based in Eibar, Spain.

In the worksop in Chania, participated five people from France (three technicians and two administrative employees of the organization), four people from Spain (three technicians and an administrative employee of the company) and 15 from Greece.
In the afternoon of the first day, was held on the site of the Chamber a meeting among the partners, which involved a summative information of progress of the project and raised and timetables for completion.

The morning of the second day began with three visits:

  • in the company CretaCon Green Energy SA brothers Ntagkounaki located in Tavronitis
  • in the company Mazanakis Therm Ulysses Mazanaki based in Chryssopigi
  • in the Laboratory of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Systems of the School of Environmental Engineering of the University of Crete whose director is Professor Mr. Theocharis Tsoutsos


During the visits, members of the mission together with local electricians and plumbers had the opportunity to see up close solar and geothermal installations and discuss. At noon of the same day, it took place the second workshop of the program. Initially, there was a presentation of the training on thermal plants, geothermal and photovoltaic plants in the three countries.

After a presentation of case studies companies / educational institutions, proposed solutions on the problem of mismatch of skills and knowledge acquisition, were analysed.
At the end, participants were divided into two specialised groups, for discussing the mismatch of skills and knowledge in the sector. One group consisted of electricians and solar installers, discussion of which headed Mr. Manolis Karapidakis, Associate Professor of TEI of Crete and research fellow of the program. The other group consisted of hydraulic, discussion of which headed Mrs. Vassilios Fortsas, partner of the Development Company of the Chamber to help implement the program and Mr. Konstantinos Androulakis, director of the European Training Centre for Employment (ECTE) is partner program.

In the afternoon of the same day, in a main dissemination event, results of the program, were presented, from research performed, analysis and conclusions. At the same time, there was a broader discussion on alternative energy sources and their use. The event in Chamber conference room, was open to the public.

Greetings Mr. John Margaronis, President EVECH, John Brokalakis, President of the Association of Electrical Installers v. Chania Limogiannis Costas, Chairman of thermohydraulic n. Chania.
Mr. Nick Kalogerakis, President of the Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Investors, spoke about Renewable energy sources in Greece, Mr. Manolis Karapidakis, Associate Professor of TEI of Crete, spoke about the program and the major conclusions drawn, while Mr. Theocharis Tsoutsos, Associate Professor of the University of Crete, spoke on "Near Zero Energy Hotels "(Hotels near-zero energy consumption).
The discussion was moderated by Mr. Michael Papavasileiou, Deputy Director EVECH and task manager.


In his address, the President of Chamber, John Margaronis said: "This program, launched in December 2013 and completes its activities at the end of February 2015, has three objectives:
Identify the skills necessary to be a technician to meet the installation needs of geothermal and solar thermal systems.
To identify best practices in education.
To create a network between educational institutions, public authorities, professional associations and the business community in the fields of geothermal and solar thermal installations in the three countries-etairous.Gia the needs of the program, Chania Chamber as coordinating partner, worked with the European Training Center for Employment (ECTE) from Rethymnon, the educational organization "Les Compagnons du Devoir et du Tour de France" from Paris who is the oldest teacher training organization in Europe, and the company's economic development Debabarrena "DEBEGESA" from Eibar, Spain.
This is the third meeting that takes place between partners, which is the closure of the program. This followed the first meeting in Paris in January 2014, where he was a first meeting between partners and were the implementation timetables. A second meeting was held in October 2014 in Eibar, Spain, where the survey results were discussed during the previous period, while professional technicians from the three partner countries exchanged views on the necessary skills. Notably Chania Chamber took with him to Spain six professional technicians.
Big beneficiaries of this program are the communities of the three partner states, as through professional associations and technicians, transferring know-how and good practices.
Of course, you should not conceal the fact that in this difficult economic climate, through this program and others planned for the future, the Chania Chamber is unable to draw significant financial resources that allow both to continue its operation of, and to play its important role as the engine of growth for the prefecture of Chania.
In closing, he said. Margaronis, I would like to thank everyone who contributed in their own way to the successful implementation of the program, and I hope to be given the opportunity with a new funding to implement programs developed on the basis of the results obtained from "GSSkills"

Workshop under the "GSSkills" project

Within the framework of the European Project "GSSkills", the second meeting held from 7 to 9 October 2014, in Eibar, Spain. From Greece, except the Chamber of Chania, which is the coordinating partner, participate the European Center for Employment Training (ECTE) based in Rethymno, the organization "Les Compagnons du Devoir et du Tour de France" based in Paris and is a member of UNESCO, and the company for economic development of Debabarrena "Debegesa, ", located in Eibar, Spain.

During the meeting, a workshop took place between transnational partners, where was presented the results of two surveys that run between May and September in the three countries on the skills you need to have technical thermal and geothermal installations. The presentation focused on both the overall results, and the results for each country separately. There was also a presentation of the current situation of each country in the field of solar thermal and geothermal installations.

Then it became split into two groups (electricians / plumbers), where technicians from the three countries discussed above derived results, whereas questions were posted, related to their subject matter, in order to extract and present findings that will help in the implementation of the next phase of the program.

The participants visited to the Institute Tknika, an Innovation Centre and Vocational Training, which aims to connect research, business innovation and education. On-site, there was an overall presentation of the Institute and its objectives, the education system in Spain in terms of training, followed by tour of products manufactured or are under construction on site.
Technicians visited a building located in San Sebastian that was built in 2011, by the company Dalkia, which with the help of solar thermal and geothermal plants, produce as much energy as they consume 125 residences.
Finally, there was a meeting between the parties to discuss the progress so far in the program and set timetables for the next steps.
The purpose of the program "GSSkills", refers to the development of skills in green forms of energy such as solar and geothermal and addresses to plumbers and electricians working on photovoltaic systems and geothermal energy.
It is worth noting that the program is the only one approved in Greece and Crete.

GSSkills Kick-off meeting

GSSkills project partners met in Paris in 9th and 10th of January, for the first (kickoff) meeting of the project. The meeting hosted by Les Compagnons devoir.

Partners analysed in details all work packages of the project assigned tasks and deadlines. First workpackages, special skills, needed for low skilled workers engaged in the sectors of geothermal energy (plumbers) and solar energy (electricians), will be identified. Innovative training approaches, engaged by companies in each partner country, will be listed as good practices and presented in a success story book. Finally, it was decided a workshop to be implemented in Spain, in July.