Pillars of Progress: Technology – Essential education for a skilled hydrogen societyThe expanding fuel cell and hydrogen industry needs qualified workers, skilled in the development, deployment and maintenance of hydrogen fuel cell technologies. The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) is bolstering European talent with far-reaching initiatives to promote excellence in education and training, and to develop a well-educated workforce and hydrogen society prepared for a low-carbon, low-emission future.
Rising commercial adoption of innovative fuel cell and hydrogen technologies for applications as diverse as transport, home energy and industry is generating a growing demand for qualified workers. In 2017, the Hydrogen Council indicated the hydrogen sector could provide sustainable employment for more than 30 million people around the world by 2050. In Europe, the Hydrogen Roadmap Europe analysis pointed to a total of 5.4 million direct jobs created by the European industry in 2050.
Education programmes focused on providing dedicated training in hydrogen fuel cell technologies are thus essential today to meet this forecast future demand. The FCH JU is addressing the challenge with initiatives targeting students of all ages, starting with primary and secondary education in the FCHGO project, which developed a ‘ready to teach’ toolkit aimed at inspiring interest and awareness of hydrogen fuel cell technologies among eight to 18-year-olds.
For undergraduate and graduate education, TEACHY2020 is building a pan-European network of universities with hydrogen fuel cell curricula, including a complete MSc course on hydrogen fuel cell technologies, available in multiple languages.
Another project, NET-TOOLS, is providing an internet-based e-learning platform, featuring networking, e-science and e-laboratory components to expand multilingual online education, training and research around hydrogen and fuel cells.Developed in collaboration with education institutions, research organisations and businesses along the fuel cells and hydrogen value chain, the FCH JU-supported education and training programmes are tailored to multiple target groups and accessible across different formats, from in-person learning to e-learning and blended learning.
Moreover, the FCH Observatory, launched in 2020, includes a module on education and training designed for students, teachers, researchers and more broadly individuals interested in learning about fuel cells and hydrogen, and provides an overview of the topics being taught relative to the fuel cell and hydrogen area as well as educational materials that may be of interest.
Altogether, the approach will support European leadership in hydrogen fuel cell technologies and promote a knowledge-based hydrogen society, benefitting all Europeans in the green transition.Forecasts for future talent needs in the fuel cells and hydrogen industry led the FCH JU to launch education and training initiatives across Europe, bringing together universities, education and research institutions, businesses and social enterprises.To provide future generations of engineers, researchers and other skilled employees with the qualifications needed and bolster European competitiveness in FCH technologies.Tools for primary and secondary education activities around hydrogen fuel cells, a network of universities offering hydrogen fuel cells-relevant training undergraduate and graduate programmes, and e-learning materials in multiple languages that are already preparing thousands of students across Europe for the dynamic hydrogen fuel cells sector.