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Paving the Way for a Clean Hydrogen Future

Martin Hottass, Corporate Development Director

As the world moves towards a green energy future, hydrogen stands out as an important sustainable fuel source. The lightest and most abundant element in the universe has the potential to revolutionise our energy systems with clean and versatile power.

However, the transition to a hydrogen-based economy requires more than just technological advancements – we need a workforce equipped with the right skills and knowledge.

Hydrogen’s low density and high flammability calls for stringent safety measures. Professionals in the field must be well-versed in safety protocols and regulations. They should be adept at risk assessment and mitigation, ensuring that hydrogen handling and storage meet the highest safety standards. And they’ll need emergency response skills to prepare for the worst-case, but thankfully extremely rare, scenarios.

Skills in network construction such as pipefitting, welding, and retrofitting gas pipelines for hydrogen transport, will also be crucial.

With a series of ambitious projects underway, Teesside is positioning itself at the forefront of the UK’s green revolution. Projects such as the Tees Green Hydrogen initiative, near the site of the former Redcar steelworks, which aims to provide hydrogen to local businesses to help them to reduce carbon emissions. And bp’s H2Teesside and HyGreen Teesside projects, which together have the potential to deliver 30% of the UK’s 2030 target for hydrogen production.

Whilst the announcement of these projects is extremely good news for the North East, it is also leading to significant demand for skilled workers, particularly those in the gas and water distribution sectors.

3t’s newly opened, state-of-the-art Teesside Training Centre is ideally placed to help deliver these much-needed skills and competencies. As the UK’s largest training provider for safety-critical industries, we work with some of the utility industry’s biggest names, from asset owners to supply chain businesses, to help raise industry standards and deliver compliance. We have recently secured funding to provide Utility Skills Boot Camps to deliver some of the skills needed for Teesside. We are also the only training provider offering apprenticeships to new utility industry entrants.

As well as Teesside, there are other hydrogen projects across the UK and 3t has strategically located training centres in Newcastle, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Manchester and London to support these.

Our role as a training provider is to ensure industry has the next generation of workers, equipped with the skills, confidence, and qualifications to deliver the UK’s NetZero ambitions. That’s why we are working to support industry and businesses across the UK as we transition to hydrogen.

We know the journey to a hydrogen-powered future is as much about building human capacity as it is about constructing new energy systems. By fostering the right skills and nurturing talent, we can unlock the full potential of hydrogen and step confidently into a cleaner, more resilient energy future.