The energy sector is one of Scotland’s key economic drivers and requires a national skilled workforce and talent pool for Scotland’s energy sector. In response ESP worked with industry partners to establish the Wind Training Network in 2012, a formal college network to support large-scale renewables across Scotland. Key priorities of the Wind Training Network are:
- Supporting the Energy Transition
- Developing Capability and Capacity
- Supporting Industry and Individuals
- Supporting Government Priorities
Hydrogen energy plays an important part in the transition to net zero in line with Scottish Governments target for 2045. As an emerging technology, there is a need to raise awareness among future users of hydrogen. Through our discussions with industry and government agencies, ESP identified the need to develop the capability and capacity of Scotland’s colleges to address the expected significant demand for hydrogen skills and established the Hydrogen Training Network in 2019.
ESP continues to develop the capability and capacity of the Hydrogen Training Network through learning journeys, webinars, sharing of existing college expertise and speaking with industry experts and technology partners.
Energy Transition Priorities
- CESAP Implementation
- On/Offshore wind
- Hydrogen Technologies
Engage and Influence
ESP continues to attend regular meetings with Scottish Government’s wind team and hydrogen policy team identifying ongoing and future skills needs. ESP represented the voice of the colleges on Optio’s All Energy Apprenticeship working group, ensuring current curriculum developments in hydrogen and wind were take into consideration, preventing duplication of effort.
Capability and Capacity
We have increased capability amongst our member colleges by continuing to collaborate with colleges around the world to share best practice, especially important with emerging technologies such as hydrogen. Our relationship with Northern Regional College in Ballymena helped to support the development of CPD in hydrogen skills including attendance by college staff at Birmingham University’s KnowHy, Train the Trainer Hydrogen CPD.
This was a four unit online course specially designed for college lecturing staff and covered the following units:
- Introduction to Fuel Cells
- Hydrogen & Hydrogen Safety
- Introduction to Tools, Rules of Thumb and Applications
- Installation, Maintenance and Troubleshooting
On completion of the online course, there was an opportunity to attend a practical training day in Northern Ireland. Funding from Transport Scotland allowed college staff from Dundee and Angus College who attended Know-Hy to develop an online CPD course specifically for other college staff within our member colleges. This will be available in the academic year 2022-23.
During academic year 2020-21 ESP built on previous years projects within areas including.
- Continuation of the GWO Health & Safety training for full time college students.
- Development of an Initial assessment tool to support career changers to offshore wind.
- CPD for college staff on hydrogen fuel cell technology shared resources.
Partnership and collaboration
Through support from Transport Scotland, ESP were also able to acquire a 50 watt fuel cell trainer and associated experiments which will be situated at Michelin Scotland Innovation Scotland Parc skills academy and will be available for use with colleges within hydrogen training network. This is part of a larger plan to have a range of hydrogen training equipment at MSIP to support hydrogen skills within Scotland. Colleges will have access via the hydrogen training network and Dundee & Angus College.
Several Lucas Nülle UniTrain desktop units with hydrogen fuel cell technology and automotive electrical fundamentals were also purchased. These units can be used by the Automotive and Hydrogen Training Networks.
ESP previously developed an immersive virtual reality programme for wind turbine training. A collaboration with Dundee & Angus College and their Seagreen Skills for the Future project has allowed update of this software for the wind training network.
Our online hydrogen awareness course, developed in partnership with UHI Orkney, is now being used as an induction tool within Scottish Government’s hydrogen policy team.
Colleagues from Ayrshire, Dundee & Angus and New College Lanarkshire represented the Wind, Automotive and Hydrogen training networks at All Energy in May. Demonstrating the training available to industry through the college network.
It is an exciting time for offshore wind and our wind training network colleges, UHI Shetland being the newest member, with the Scotwind leasing announcements. This has increased the need for collaboration with SDS and the inward investment team as well as discussions around an online skills portal for the wind industry.
ESP represents the colleges on a number of different groups, positioning our members as a first choice for technical skills.
- SOWEC – Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council
- SHINE – Scottish Hydrogen Innovation Network
- Skills for offshore wind partner meeting
- H2 Accelerator
November 2021 brought COP26 to Scotland with ESP asked to participate in Scotland’s Contribution to COP26 a just transition to Net Zero, an online event organised by the Scotsman and CENSIS. ESP led the session on skills development and covered the activities undertaken by our training networks in offshore wind, hydrogen, low carbon transport, manufacture, and energy efficiency.