Skills Needs and Gap Analysis in Namibia’s Green Hydrogen, PtX Sector

Skills development is key to equip Namibians with the necessary knowledge, expertise, and skills to participate in the green hydrogen and Power-to-X (PtX) industry, ultimately enhancing employability.

A recent study conducted by the Renewables Academy AG (RENAC), in collaboration with the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), aimed at exploring the skills requirements in the Namibian PtX industry, identifying skills gaps and other education-related barriers in the country, and proposals for action to enhance the employability of Namibians. The study was commissioned by the PtX Hub Namibia in collaboration with the GIZ project, ProTVET.

The study aims to improve the employability of Namibians in the future PtX labour market by enabling policy and decision-makers, in collaboration with the private sector and educational institutions, to develop strategies to adapt the education system to the needs of the PtX sector.

The study recommends the  need to develop and implement a National Programme for Skills Development in Namibia’s hydrogen and PtX economy in order to enhance the employability of Namibians, increase job opportunities, and build a capacitate and skilled workforce.

The skills needs assessmentidentified the specific skills and competencies required for the PtX industry in Namibia. By comprehensively understanding the skills demanded by the PtX sector, the assessment enables the programme to prioritise and address the most critical skill gaps and development areas.

The gaps analysis examined the existing educational ecosystem in Namibia, in relation to the identified skills needs. It highlights the disparities between the current skill levels and the desired skill requirements for the PtX industry. This analysis helps identify the pathways where skills development interventions are most urgently needed.

The results and findings serve as the basis for constructing the programme for skills development in Namibia’s PtX industry.

The study recommends the establishment of a diverse National PtX Skills Task Force, comprising government representatives, industry leaders, academia, and training providers, and the refinement of existing mandates for the research and development working group (Namibia Private Sector Green Hydrogen Task Force) and re-align to the new National PtX Skills Task Force.

It also recommends the development of a strategic programme and action plan to address identified skill gaps and enhance workforce capabilities.

A key recommendation is for the development of industry-driven curricula and training programmes for higher education as well as vocational training pathways. Contributions from PtX companies ensure that curricula are in line with industry requirements and address the specific needs and advancements in PtX technologies. The educational regulators ensure that the requirements of formal qualifications are met.

Alongside enhancing existing university curricula for undergraduates, the GIZ report proposes offering specialised and accredited continued professional training courses related to the PtX industry and enhancing the apprenticeship programme in order to equip youth with skills needed in the PtX industry.

To leverage these opportunities, PtX-related industries (including the up-stream renewable industry) should be invited to participate in the programme.

Furthermore, to ensure satisfying training outcomes, the introduction of minimum training standards, for instance regarding mentor qualifications of training duration, should be considered.

It is also essential that academic and TVET instructors get the opportunity to upskill themselves. The following measures are recommended:

  • Develop PtX-related workshops and seminars and facilitate attendance of teaching staff.
  • Facilitate intensive exchange with PtX industry experts to transfer practical know-how to training staff.
  • Involve PtX industry experts in delivering trainings.
  • Facilitate industry internships – not just for students but also for teaching staff.
  • Establish a Train-the-Trainer platform with an online component where teachers can gain theoretical knowledge, coupled with practical training from abroad where the industry is more mature.
  • Teaching staff undertake collaborative projects with students to enhance own knowledge while guiding and mentoring students.

The study further recommends the establishment of Centers of Excellence – specialised training centres or institutes focused on PtX technologies, applications and processes.

Such centres would provide state-of-the-art infrastructure, equipment, and resources for hands-on training and research activities, and collaborate with international partners for knowledge exchange and benchmarking.

On 7 November, 2023, the PtX Hub Namibia organised a webinar where the findings of the study were discussed in more detail. The webinar can be re-watched HERE.

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