Renewable hydrogen is emerging as a key technology in Australia’s energy future, with Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy (the National Strategy) published in November 2019 outlining a national commitment and process for its uptake. Hydrogen is a low or no emissions alternative to natural gas that can assist in assuring liquid fuels security, provide energy grid support, and address the persistently high costs of natural gas for domestic use.
The Construction, Plumbing and Services Industry Reference Committee (IRC) will present Case for Change (‘Case’) to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) on July 2021 to consider approving the development of new units of competency that will support existing and new plumbing and gas hydrogen training requirements.
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An Industry Working Group (‘Group’) has been established to provide both strategic and technical input on the project and unit development. To date, the Group has identified Six Key Skills Requirements that address current skills and emerging gaps in the sector. These Key Skills Requirements have been translated into a proposed unit framework, which is underpinned by 2 streams (combustion and fuel cell / electrolysis).
- Current skill gaps: To ensure current skill needs are met, 11 new hydrogen-based competencies are being put forward, which align with traditional combustion type of work.
- Emerging skill gaps: To support emerging requirements, particularly around fuel cell and electrolysis, 8 new competencies are being proposed for development to ensure plumbing practitioners are ‘work-ready’ to meet future market needs.
It is expected that the new hydrogen-based units of competency, once developed, will be incorporated into appropriate CPC Plumbing and Gas qualifications. It is also anticipated that the qualifications that will include the new units of competency will be updated through a minor release and not impact equivalency.
As per the communique: The AISC agreed to refer the case back to the Construction IRC for resubmission in 2022 following cross-sectoral, strategic analysis of the hydrogen workforce and related job roles and skills needs commissioned by the Department due for completion by May 2022.
If you would like to know more about this project or to provide input, please email Manuel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your contribution would be most welcome.
Exploring Hydrogen Skills Needs in the Plumbing and Gas Industry
To provide input for the project, please download the Hydrogen Discussion Paper below and give us your feedback by contacting email@example.com.