South West College secure funding to help decarbonise industry in Northern Ireland

South West College secure funding to help decarbonise industry in Northern Ireland
April, 2021

South West College (SWC) has been awarded Erasmus Plus funding for a new project entitled “HySkills”, which aims to provide training on the subject of green hydrogen (H2) safety skills in order to help commit to the transition to renewable energy use.

Thanks to its unique natural resources, Northern Ireland has the potential to be at the forefront of the hydrogen economy and the implementation of renewable energy technologies, and this project will allow SWC to play a significant role in doing this.

HySkills will facilitate advances in hydrogen technologies as well as shape and develop the associated knowledge and skills that will be required to successfully implement the hydrogen economy within NI, to try and adapt to carbon emission reduction targets addressed in the Paris Climate Agreement.

South West College will lead the collaboration, which also includes hydrogen experts from institutes such as Dublin City University, University of Tromsø in Norway and EIfI-Tech in Germany. PROMEA will also support the collaboration as a key project partner. South West College are the only further education college in Northern Ireland to have secured this funding.

Hydrogen is currently receiving widespread attention and backing from a variety of industry sectors and from local government. It is seen as central in the aim to decarbonise industries so that they are fully sustainable. Economy Minister for Northern Ireland, Diane Dodds, recently announced her support for “green recovery and clean energy”, which includes acknowledgement that hydrogen will create new sustainable jobs coinciding with zero carbon economic growth.

Dr John Harrison, Renewable Engine R&I Co-ordinator, highlighted South West College’s suitability to the project. He said, “at South West College, hydrogen research and discovery is already underway as part of the Renewable Engine project. Working closely with our industry partners, current research themes support the feasibility of hydrogen adoption and the implementation of this transition.”

South West College are actively pursuing solutions to some of the upcoming challenges and are invested in addressing practical implications of transitioning to the hydrogen economy. This includes considerations for the future workforce and ensuring that they are appropriately skilled to work with hydrogen and associated technologies in a safe and effective manner.

South West College are looking for businesses to get involved to engage with the project to identify the safety and technical skills required by future workforce in the H2 sector in order to aid the design and development of the HySkills curriculum and learning outcomes.

For more information and to get involved with the project please contact Jonathan Eves at