A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed in Townsville aiming to increase  training in one of Australia’s fastest growing industry workforces – hydrogen.

Minister for Training and Skills Development, Di Farmer, visited Townsville, Queensland to witness the signing between TAFE Queensland and the Ark Energy Corporation, which will see TAFE Queensland upskill and reskill Ark Energy’s workforce along with its affiliated companies, including Sun Metals and Townsville Logistics.

“Workforce development goes hand in hand with industry development so it’s vital our future workforce has the right training to take up new and exciting opportunities in the growing hydrogen industry, and support Queensland’s position as an industry leader,” Ms Farmer said.

“This training will ensure the safe production, handling and use of hydrogen across various applications in the energy transition and in particular ultra-heavy transport to reduce CO2 emissions.”

The signing of the MoU follows the announcement of the development of Ark Energy’s SunHQ Hydrogen Hub – a renewable hydrogen facility focussed on decarbonising the ultra-heavy transport sector – at Sun Metals’ zinc refinery in Townsville.

Member for Townsville and Resources Minister, Scott Stewart, said the city was well placed to take advantage of the opportunities green hydrogen offered.

“There’s potentially thousands of jobs in this new industry and that’s why we’re investing in the Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Training facility at Bohle TAFE,” Mr Stewart said.

“Working with industry partners like Ark Energy is a key part of tapping into Townsville’s potential as a hydrogen hub which is why this announcement is so exciting.”

Ark Energy Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Kim, said he is excited to be working with Queensland’s largest and most trusted provider of Vocational Education and Training (VET), TAFE Queensland:

“Ark Energy is proud to be one of the first movers in the hydrogen industry and partnering with the market leading provider of VET in Queensland will ensure we stay ahead of the curve.

“In order to build a world-class hydrogen industry, we need world-class training for our current and future workforces, and our partnership with TAFE Queensland is central to achieving our goal of building North Queensland’s domestic hydrogen economy.”

TAFE Queensland Chief Executive Officer, Mary Campbell, said the training provider is proud to support Ark Energy in strengthening the domestic hydrogen economy:

“TAFE Queensland works best when we are working hand-in-hand with industry and we are proud to be able to play such an important role in shaping Queensland’s future in hydrogen with vital training and skills delivery,” Ms Campbell said.

“Ark Energy believes Townsville can grow a strong domestic and globally competitive hydrogen industry and TAFE Queensland is ready to support them with quality, innovative and progressive training and facilities.”

The State Budget 2022-23 includes more than $1.2 billion for skills and training to continue delivering high quality education so Queenslanders can reskill or upskill to advance their career and pursue new opportunities like those in the growing hydrogen sector.

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