A Minns Labor Government will invest in NSW’s future workforce by partnering with industry to establish a Hydrogen Centre of Excellence.

Labor will commit $25 million to a vocational training centre in Glenwood in partnership with the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre.

Hydrogen could play a major role in the transition to renewable energy. A trial project at the Western Sydney Green Hydrogen Hub is already generating 'renewable gas' for local homes and businesses. The federal government has set a target to make Australia a major player in green hydrogen by 2030.

However, in order to take full advantage of the economic potential of the shift to renewables like hydrogen, we have to invest in our workforce. The Australian Hydrogen Council has identified the skills shortage as a key priority for the sector.

Labor’s new Centre will prepare the plumbing industry to meet the future demand for jobs in the growing hydrogen sector, and help make New South Wales a leader in the sector.

By partnering with industry, unions and government, Labor will deliver highly-paid, secure jobs in NSW’s growing renewables sector.

The Centre will be able to deliver hundreds of apprentices and upskilled workers every year. They’ll be trained with specialist skills in fire protection, fire control, plumbing and hydrogen. The project is expected to be operational by 2026.

Labor’s wider commitments to rebuild the state’s vocational education system and invest in skills include:

  • Hiring an additional 1,000 apprentices and trainees across the NSW Government to tackle the skills shortage and get young people into work.
  • Fee-free courses in skill shortage areas such as mechanical engineering and electrical fitting.
  • A Guarantee of a minimum of 70 percent of the vocational education budget goes to TAFE – once a force to be reckoned with but crippled by the Liberals – helping resolve the statewide skills shortage.
  • A comprehensive review of the vocational education system in NSW to determine the full impact of cuts and establish a path forward to rebuilding TAFE.
  • Investment in domestic manufacturing – by creating three TAFE centres of excellence in the Hunter, the Illawarra and Western Sydney to train 1,000 workers each year. 
  • A guarantee that a Labor Government won’t sell off any more campuses.

Labor will also invest $1bn in a new Energy Security Corporation to set NSW on a path to a secure, renewables-led energy future.

Quotes attributable to Chris Minns, NSW Labor leader:

“Labor will bring the jobs of the future to NSW.

“Hydrogen has huge potential for our renewables transition. And if we’re smart, it can also bring thousands of high-paid, secure new jobs to our state.

“A Labor Government will train the high-skilled workers we need to capitalise on this opportunity.”

Quotes attributable to Jihad Dib, NSW Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change:

“To meet our climate commitments we need to think big. Hydrogen could eventually be a major part of our renewables mix.  And we want NSW to be a world leader in this field.

“Alongside our new Energy Security Corporation, this will help our state become more self-sufficient when it comes to energy. Only Labor will deliver the required investment and long-term commitment to make a success of the renewables transition.”

Quotes attributable to Tim Crakanthorp, NSW Shadow Minister for Skills and TAFE:

“This $25m investment will create an invaluable resource for NSW. We will skill-up existing workers and train new apprentices to enter this high-growth sector.

“Jobs in hydrogen and other renewables are the future. Labor is thinking long-term - we’re setting up our young people and existing workers for good jobs which will be around for decades to come.”

Quotes attributable to Courtney Houssos, NSW Shadow Minister for Natural Resources:

“NSW has the potential to be a leading producer and exporter of green hydrogen. To make that happen we need to support this sector in its infancy. That’s why Labor will tackle the skills gap and prepare our state for the opportunities to come.”