In recent months, the Government has revealed the UK’s first hydrogen strategy which sets out the approach to developing a thriving low carbon hydrogen sector in the UK to meet our ambition for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030.
The UK’s first Hydrogen Strategy outlines:
- how the UK will rapidly and significantly scale up production and lay the foundations for a low carbon hydrogen economy by 2030
- how the Government will support innovation and stimulate investment in the 2020s to scale up low carbon hydrogen
The Strategy details how the Government will look to capture the economic benefits of growing the UK hydrogen economy, supporting innovation and stimulating investment to develop the supply chains and skills needed and create jobs and export opportunities for the UK. Here at CompEx, we’re already supporting the development of a competent workforce in a bid to make the UK a global leader in green technologies.
Chapter three of the strategy explains how the Government will work to secure economic opportunities across the UK that can come from a thriving hydrogen economy. Within this, the Government discusses how it will ensure that the right skills are in the right place at the right time. Ensuring that the UK has the right skills and capabilities will be critical to achieving the hydrogen ambition.
The characteristics of hydrogen are well understood and already covered within existing international standards in relation to explosive atmospheres. However, hydrogen does behave differently when compared to other conventional gas fuels because of its molecular size and weight, which means that it is more prone to leakage and will rise and disperse quickly in open environments. So, whilst existing knowledge and skills are directly applicable, it is still important to ensure that there is a flexible, multi-skilled and competent workforce ready to facilitate the transition to an increasingly decarbonised energy system.
Huw Bement, Director at CompEx, said: “The UK has all of the ingredients to become a leading producer and exporter of hydrogen, so we are pleased to see the UK Government’s updated strategy around energy transition. CompEx will play a key role in ensuring future competence within the industry, so we are currently reviewing how we deliver appropriate skills for this future renewable energy for a more sustainable future.
“Our relationship with industry is critical to ensure that we can continue to provide a certification scheme that reflects future occupational requirements. Changing technology will shape the skills needed but also how we train and assess people. We’re already consulting with key stakeholders within industry as to what a competent skilled workforce will look like for the future. Competency is more than knowing your subject, it’s about your ability to apply and integrate it in different contexts. We are committed to help equip workers with the right skills and capabilities, as well as work closely with the UK Government and the devolved administrations to build a sustainable recovery and support a net-zero future.
“This isn’t about reinventing the wheel, either. Since its inception over 25 years ago, CompEx has evolved, and is ready to support the emerging hydrogen sector. We already provide competency validation across a range of sectors including food manufacturing, pharmaceutical and of course petrochemical. It is critical that we continue to update the Scheme, for example we are developing a Maritime Fuels module in response to a major cruise line which is moving from heavy fuel oil to liquid natural gas-powered vessels. By recognising the unique challenges that these different industrial applications require of competent individuals operating in a variety of hazardous areas, CompEx is well-placed to support on developing a competent workforce for a diverse range of sectors, including the transition to green energy.”
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