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Townsville students will be the first ever to take part in a brand-new hands-on Future HyWay workshop to explore hydrogen production and use, which is being run today and tomorrow by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) and supported by Australian Gas Industry Trust (AGIT).
Ignatius Park College and Pimlico State High school students will be supported by Origin professionals to produce hydrogen by electrolysis and create a fuel cell to power a mini hydrogen-powered car.
Students will build the car and then race it in the one-day workshops.
“Queensland is touted to become an energy production superpower and hydrogen production is part of this equation,” said QRC’s Director of Skills and Education Katrina-Lee Jones.
“The Australian Government expects the hydrogen industry to create more than 8,000 new, highly-skilled high-tech jobs by 2050, and many of these are likely to be in regional Queensland,” she said.
“This is why it’s important for students to understand the science behind this potential new industry, and the career opportunities it might offer them.”
Dr Jen Thompson, Executive Officer of the Australian Gas Industry Trust (AGIT) said it’s estimated that by 2030, the industry could be worth about $1.7 billion a year in exports for Queensland.
“So, this workshop is a great way to spark interest and make sure we have the skilled people to support that,” she said.
“We are pleased to be supporting these workshops to highlight the emerging role of this low-emissions fuel.
“Queensland has tremendous potential for green hydrogen production and Origin volunteers from our hydrogen team are delighted to give students an insight into what it is, how we would produce it and how it could help global efforts to decarbonise,” said Origin Energy general manager future fuels Tracey Boyes.
“We want to inspire students to take up more STEM subjects and consider careers at companies such as Origin, where they can help lead the energy transition,” she said.
Ignatius Park College Principal Shaun Clarke said the workshop was an excellent way to help students understand the practical application of their classroom studies.
“It also exposes them to careers they might not have imagined, and they will receive some great insights from the visiting Origin Energy staff who will mentor them through the project.
Joel Buchholz, Executive Principal of Pimlico State High School said the workshop would also encourage teamwork, communication skills and networking with industry people, which is important for their personal development and entre into the workplace.
“These so-called ‘soft’ skills are easily overlooked, but incredibly important as students move into further education and training and the workforce.”
As Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and skills training initiative, the QMEA seeks to broaden student and teacher knowledge of career opportunities in resources.
The academy encourages a talent pipeline of employees into VET and STEM-related careers, with a focus on female and Indigenous participation. The QMEA currently engages with 80 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.
Media Contact: Caroline Morrissey 0417 770893 or Carolinem@qrc.org.au