UOW welcomes the Australian Government’s commitment to Energy Futures Skills Centre

Image credit: uow.edu.au
Media Release by the University of Wollongong

As part of the 2022-23 October Budget, Federal Treasurer the Hon Dr Jim Chalmers MP last night confirmed the Government’s election commitment of $10 million to establish the Energy Futures Skills Centre at the University of Wollongong (UOW).

UOW is committed to helping unlock Australia’s renewable energy potential by supporting our community and local industries to create sustainable jobs. The Energy Futures Skills Centre will support the education, training and engagement needs for the workforce of the future in partnership with local industry, community and global partners.

The Illawarra area is particularly well-placed to take advantage of the clean energy revolution. UOW has a vision to harness the cohesive features of our community, further developing our highly skilled workers to demonstrate a clean technology pathway for communities and act as a model for all of Australia.

UOW Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Patricia M. Davidson said UOW has a long tradition of educating graduates with the skills needed by local industries.

“The Energy Futures Skills Centre will continue this tradition as we focus on the knowledge people will need to drive the clean energy future.

“The clean energy future involves us all. The Energy Futures Skills Centre will engage with community and industry to bring the people and businesses of the Illawarra/ Shoalhaven on the journey towards decarbonisation.

“Sharing knowledge and facilitates between UOW and TAFE will allow people to train and be re-trained for the clean energy industry, which is rapidly expanding in the Illawarra.”

The Member for Cunningham, Ms Alison Byrnes MP, said: “The Labor Government’s Powering Australia plan will create over 600,000 jobs, with five out of six new jobs to be created in the regions, including the Illawarra.

“The Energy Futures Skills Centre is being funded to ensure that we can train people for those skilled and sustainable jobs.

“Thanks to the Labor Government, the University of Wollongong and Wollongong TAFE are able to build a combined centre to train the clean energy workforce our region needs.”

The Energy Futures Skill Centre will deliver skills development programs with courses jointly designed by UOW and TAFE NSW to train the workforce of the future using state-of-the-art clean energy and clean manufacturing teaching laboratories.

The Centre will also collaborate with new and established businesses to develop business models in the clean energy and manufacturing space and operate as an energy outreach centre, engaging communities in the development of an equitable energy future with strategic partnerships between UOW, TAFE NSW and industry partners.

UOW has a long-established system of working closely with industry partners to provide sustainable solutions that support existing and emerging businesses as they look to adopt clean energy and manufacturing technologies.

World-class research facilities at the Australian Institute for Innovative Materials have developed new ways to efficiently produce green hydrogen from the Hysata technology and are working towards pioneering new battery storage technology.

UOW has provided advice on better ways to operate electricity grids to support solar and wind from the Australian Power Quality and Reliability Centre and has developed innovative new building materials and approaches through the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre.

UOW is also working with new technology start-up companies, providing research services, practical support and skilled researchers to fast-track innovation at the iAccelerate Business Accelerator.