A Mid and East Antrim Borough Council led project has been shortlisted for two national awards at the upcoming H&V News Awards.
The innovative Hydrogen Training Academy is a skills development and training initiative aimed at enabling Northern Ireland to maximise opportunities associated with hydrogen as an emerging sustainable energy solution.
Taking place in London later this month, the prestigious H&V News Awards are an annual celebration of excellence, forward thinking and the highest achievements across the building services and heating and ventilation industries, recognising the most forward-thinking, innovative and customer-focused players.
The Mid and East Antrim Borough Council led Hydrogen Training Academy is shortlisted for the ‘Training Initiative of the Year’ – an award which highlights an organisation’s commitment to the continuous improvement of skills and competence in the sector through training.
Council and its partners in the Hydrogen Training Academy have also been shortlisted for the ‘Collaboration of the Year’, which recognises a demonstrable commitment to collaborations that “go beyond the conventional customer-client relationship.”
Launched in February 2022, the Hydrogen Training Academy is the result of a public-private investment of £750,000 from the UK Government’s Community Renewal Fund, the Department for Communities Covid-Revitalisation Fund, the Labour Market Partnership and EP UK Investments, which will ultimately help to upskill the workforce to meet future requirements.
Northern Regional College, Belfast Metropolitan College, the University of Birmingham, Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University are amongst the key delivery partners for the initiative, whilst a consortium of key industry players involved includes:
Ballymena-based Wrightbus, developer of the world’s first hydrogen bus; renewable energy and technology firm Energia; public-transport provider Translink; natural gas supplier Firmus; EP UK Investments, owners of the Kilroot and Ballylumford Power Stations; and green energy supplier B9 Energy.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Alderman Noel Williams described the awards shortlisting as a “fitting recognition” of the “critical role” the Hydrogen Training Academy is playing in the borough.
“Our Hydrogen Training Academy is already playing a leading role in training and upskilling existing employees as well as new trainees to a competence standard required for working in the hydrogen and green energy sectors,” said Alderman Williams.
“This, alongside a range of other initiatives led by our Manufacturing Task Force, is firmlycementing Mid and East Antrim’s position as a hub for SME innovation and commercialisation activity and a springboard for the future of the cleantech growth sector and industry.
“In particular, the Academy is supporting the development of the Ballymena area as a ‘hydrogen hub’ and is continuing to build upon our borough’s reputation as a centre of excellence and the main focal point of the emerging Northern Ireland wide hydrogen economy.
“But this is only possible through collaboration with our delivery partners and consortium of key industry players – all of whom are vital cogs in the wheel that keeps our Hydrogen Training Academy turning and to whom we remain exceptionally grateful.
“I wish the entire Hydrogen Training Academy team every success in the upcoming H&V News Awards.”
For further information on the Hydrogen Training Academy, or to find out more about the specific courses available, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 028 2563 3345.