The upscaling of green hydrogen production will require adequate numbers of people properly trained in the relevant theory and practice. This in turn calls for expert teaching staff who can provide training and refresher courses to aspiring and current professionals. With its pilot programme focussing on the professional development of teaching staff, GroenvermogenNL has initiated this training.
The setting up of new study programmes focussing on hydrogen technology will enable young people and professionals working in the fossil economy to move on to new careers. This new opportunity was pioneered in the northern Netherlands several years ago. ‘Since 2018, secondary vocational programmes have been working with the government and corporate world in responding to the demand for staff trained in the new technology,’ says Roeland Hogt, practical teacher in Automotive at ROC Noorderpoort.
Basic course in Hydrogen Technology
In 2018, the public-private partnership for vocational education in the northern Netherlands (Energy College) established an educational plan for hydrogen technology and developed a basic elective course on the subject of Hydrogen Technology. Hogt explains, ‘The modular programme we offer consists of this basic module with more in-depth electives on mobility, the built environment, and industry (including the energy supply chain). For the training, you choose the module that suits you. Students can choose from these electives, and the same applies to professionals as part of lifelong learning.’
Demand for hydrogen teaching staff
According to Hogt, the hydrogen programme is based on several pillars. ‘In addition to the teaching resources, we also need to have excellent and safe facilities, assignments that reflect the operational processes used in practice, and knowledge. Knowledge from certified hydrogen teachers from across the Netherlands who can train students and professionals.’
Pilot programme on professional development of teaching staff
As part of the GroenvermogenNL Human Capital Agenda (HCA) programme, the professional development pilot has been launched in order to train hydrogen teaching staff. ‘The pilot is being conducted by a leading group of teachers specialising in hydrogen,’ explains Hogt. ‘They regularly meet up to share their knowledge and experience. One of their key areas of focus is how to work safely with hydrogen within education.’
National Educational Package
As part of the pilot, the group will also lay the groundwork for the teaching resources for the in-depth elective courses. ‘Within GroenvermogenNL, this will be used in the further development of the National Hydrogen Technology Educational Package (Nationaal Onderwijspakket Waterstoftechnologie). Based on the pilot, they will also set up training modules to train and certify teaching staff.’ In mid-2023, the pilot programme will come to an end and be upscaled as part of the regular professional development programme for hydrogen teaching staff.