School sees hydro needs
Australia appears to lack the hydrogen skills and training capabilities it needs to achieve its newly-legislated carbon reduction targets.
From secondary schools to universities, trades to big business, Australia lacks the hydrogen skills and training capabilities it needs to achieve its newly-legislated carbon reduction targets, according to new research by Swinburne University of Technology’s Victorian Hydrogen Hub (VH2).
Over the long term, delivering education and training through registered organisations can protect workers transitioning into the hydrogen economy from being locked out of the industry.
However, the Australian skills and education landscape is not keeping pace with the fast-moving green hydrogen industry, causing a rush by industry to fill the gaps. Short courses and the emergence of micro-credentialing are being offered by a variety of organisations. While benefits of this include flexibility and a degree of resilience, there are also risks of such a fragmented landscape.
The study highlights the urgent need for cross-sector collaboration to support education and training on hydrogen energy. Training on electrolysers, fuel cells, hydrogen storage and refuelling stations is most needed.
The implementation of hydrogen into the Australian economy is a key strategy in the federal government's Long Term Emissions Reduction Plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Education and training planning is essential to achieve these goals, with ‘train the trainer’ courses, trades courses, school curriculum changes, micro-credentials, higher education and industry engagement programs all forming part of the solution.
With the current high demand for engineers and high-level workers in the hydrogen sector and the predicted impact on trades, the first priority must be basic awareness and safety to prepare a large workforce for the changes.
Swinburne's Victorian Hydrogen Hub was given $10 million in funds through the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund to help make hydrogen accessible to all.