South & City College Birmingham to invest in hydrogen fuel technology

South & City College Birmingham to invest in hydrogen fuel technology

South & City College Birmingham

South and City College Birmingham is to receive £1.54 million from the Office for Students to invest in infrastructure for hydrogen fuel.

The College has been awarded £1.54m to invest in infrastructure for hydrogen fuel technology. Developing new workspaces for large vehicles, HGVs and buses for training in the design and maintenance of hydrogen-fuelled vehicles and clean energy solutions. Students will have access to hydrogen vehicles, fuel cell technology and industry software as part of their training for careers in the automotive and engineering sectors.

Principal Mike Hopkins MBE said, "As a college, we are delighted to be investing in the latest cutting-edge technology and to be the first college within the region to have a hydrogen technology training facility. We work in partnership with National Express to train and help recruit their new skilled employees and they already have hydrogen hybrid vehicles. This means that we will now be able to provide the necessary specialist skills that National Express require and to support the skills needed locally and regionally. Along with our Electric Vehicle facilities, it will play a key role in the transition to zero emissions and our students will be prepared with the skills to work on vehicles powered by alternative sources of energy.

In 2020 the Government announced a commitment to end the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 and plans for transitioning to zero-emission cars and vans by 2035, this needs to be underpinned by a workforce with the knowledge and skills to support the production, diagnosis and maintenance of vehicles as sales increase and a second-hand vehicle market grows. Commercial operators will need trained engineers to support fleets of vehicles with alternative fuels.

This project supports the transition to carbon net zero through investment in specialist facilities that will develop a highly trained workforce in readiness for the growth in alternative fueled vehicles across the sector.

The College has also recently invested in a new electric car workshop at the Bournville campus (Longbridge) and launched a new fully-funded Electric and Hybrid Vehicles in-work training course, after a phenomenally successful pilot scheme. The course is already in development to be delivered at another campus in Bordesley Green.

The College's investment in new qualifications and facilities at the College are providing local people with the opportunity to be trained at a higher technical level and gain jobs.