Upskilling the Hydrogen Workforce for a Sustainable Future

Tuesday 7th May 2024
The Hydrogen industry offers a cleaner, more sustainable alternative to traditional fossil fuels. It is a significant part of the transformation of our energy usage to more renewable sources.

However, a pressing challenge hinders this clean-powered future – the shortage of ‘green-skilled’ labour. 

Recent studies have shed light on the magnitude of this skills shortage, underscoring the urgent need for action. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the global hydrogen industry will require a workforce of over 6 million by 2050 to meet growing demand and technological advancements. Yet, current estimates suggest a shortfall of skilled workers exceeding 2 million within the next decade alone.

Several factors contribute to this disparity. Firstly, the developing nature of the hydrogen sector means that specialised skills and knowledge are in short supply. Traditional training programs have struggled to keep pace with the rapid evolution of hydrogen technologies, leaving a void in the workforce.

Furthermore, the interdisciplinary nature of hydrogen production, storage, and utilisation requires a diverse skill set encompassing engineering, chemistry, and renewable energy expertise. This multidimensional demand exacerbates the challenge of finding qualified professionals capable of bridging the gap.

Addressing this issue requires a multifaceted approach, and one promising avenue is the upskilling of existing workers through innovative training methodologies. Here, technology emerges as a powerful ally in the quest to solve the Hydrogen skills shortage.

By investing in the development of incumbent workers, the hydrogen industry can cultivate a talent pool that has some familiarity with the industry and will be capable of learning new skills to become a multi-competence workforce.

Mixed reality training, pioneered by companies like mXreality, offers an exciting solution to workforce development challenges. By blending virtual and physical environments, mixed reality simulations provide hands-on experience in a safe and controlled virtual setting. Mistakes can be made without any real-world consequences and safety can be assured. This immersive approach not only accelerates learning but also enhances retention and engagement, enabling workers to master complex tasks with confidence.

Moreover, mixed reality training delivers an accessible solution to cutting-edge educational resources. Teams can access their training from wherever they are in the world and complete learning at a pace that suits them. Training programs can be delivered through virtual reality goggles and can be just as engaging on a laptop, desktop or tablet.

Whether simulating hydrogen production processes or troubleshooting equipment failures, virtual environments offer unparalleled opportunities for skill acquisition and refinement. They can be realistic, engaging, and thought-provoking learning experiences.

Nevertheless, the journey towards a skilled hydrogen workforce is not without its challenges. Implementation barriers, such as infrastructure constraints and resource limitations, must be overcome to realise the full potential of technology-driven training initiatives. Additionally, ongoing collaboration between industry stakeholders, academia, and government agencies is essential to ensure alignment between training programs and industry needs.

The imperative to increase the number of skilled people in the hydrogen workforce is clear, and one clear option to support this challenge is the upskilling of existing workers through innovative training solutions. By harnessing technology, we can equip tomorrow's workforce with the knowledge and expertise create a sustainable hydrogen future. 

In mXreality’s upcoming panel discussion, industry experts Chris Train OBEMumtaz Patel, Stephen Barrett and Majid Al-Kader will be sharing their insights into the current industry landscape and the future of hydrogen skills as well as looking at technology's role in supporting training and upskilling green workers to help solve the skills shortage. 

Register today for your free place here.

  • MX  Reality Hydrogen


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