National Composites Centre and the Tank Storage Association call for action to meet hydrogen targets in new workforce foresighting report

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Urgent action is needed in order for the UK to meet the government’s target to increase hydrogen production, according to a new Workforce Foresighting Hub report.

Hydrogen has been identified as a zero-carbon fuel source which can help the UK reach its ambitious Net Zero targets. In the British Energy Security Strategy, the government has set a target to deliver up to 10 GW of hydrogen production capacity by 2030, with at least half of this coming from electrolytic hydrogen.

The workforce foresighting report was carried out to identify future skills demands to be addressed to meet the challenge of increasing hydrogen production. It identified future supply chain capabilities, future occupational profiles, and suggested changes to current training provision to deliver the skills needed for its wholesale adoption.

Without action now, it is likely that the capabilities and capacity of the workforce will be insufficient to meet the needs for achieving the government’s targets.

The report focuses specifically on above-ground hydrogen storage tanks, which are critical in all aspects of bulk storage, distribution and commercial hydrogen use and are applicable across many sectors.

However, concerns about skills gaps in design, installation, maintenance, and operation threaten to impede progress in this critical area.

The report was sponsored by the Tank Storage Association and led by the National Composites Centre, in collaboration with the Hydrogen Skills Alliance, which brought together experts from education, employment and the industry to produce it. The outcomes of the report play an initial role in shaping the future workforce capabilities required to build the workforce with the skills to meet the demand for hydrogen.

Meeting future demands

It’s all part of the Workforce Foresighting Hub programme, an Innovate UK initiative, which brings together domain specialists, educators and employers across innovative technologies to deliver individual ‘foresighting cycles’ on specific challenges.

By assessing capability needs and identifying gaps in current skills development, the goal is to support the education and training sector to effectively drive action within each individual challenge.

Output reports from each cycle detail future supply chain capabilities, prototype future occupational profiles, and deliver recommendations to drive action to ensure that the UK continues to harness the potential of innovative technologies.

Peter Davidson, Chief Executive of the Tank Storage Association, said: “As a zero-carbon fuel source, hydrogen will play a key role in helping the UK reach our Net Zero goals, but if we don’t have the skilled workforce to exploit this, we won’t be able to use it to its full potential.

“That is why we’re delighted to have partnered with the Workforce Foresighting Hub team and the National Composites Centre on this report. The workforce foresighting process provides us with the insight and recommendations to avoid future skills shortages, ensuring we have a workforce with the capability and capacity to adopt hydrogen as a zero-carbon fuel source.

“While there is a lot of work to do, the process allows us to identify specific actions at an early stage, meaning we have the time and the recommendations needed to help us improve the capabilities of the workforce.”

Katy Riddington, Chief Portfolio Officer at the National Composites Centre, added: “This report underscores the urgent need for targeted skills development to support the UK’s hydrogen ambitions. By addressing these gaps now, we can ensure that our future workforce is prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the transition to a hydrogen-based economy.”

You can view the report here.


For media inquiries or further information, please contact Nunzia Florio, Communications Director, Tank Storage Association, T. +44 (0)7903 388584 – Email

For all interview requests and additional information, please contact: National Composites Centre Marketing & Communications:

Notes for Editors

The Workforce Foresighting Hub

Initiated and funded by Innovate UK and built in collaboration with the UK’s Catapult Network, the Workforce Foresighting Hub provides the process, insight and recommendations required for UK organisations to exploit innovative technologies.

Its process brings together domain specialists, educators and employers to help identify the workforce skills demands required in two to five years’ time, to help avoid a skills shortfall and lead future industry.

Each foresighting cycle then culminates in a report, which details future supply chain capabilities, prototype future occupational profiles and recommendations to drive action in that specific field.

National Composites Centre

The National Composites Centre (NCC) is a world leading UK research and development facility that provides access to state-of-the-art engineering capabilities and technology. Collaborating to address the most complex engineering challenges of our time, we accelerate the development of new products across advanced materials, digital engineering, sustainability and hydrogen. Delivering pioneering innovation to drive industrial transformation, NCC works across a diverse range of sectors to deliver benefit to the UK, investing in the talents of our current and future workforce.

Part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, it collaborates with innovators to SMEs, the supply chain and OEMs, providing businesses with a de-risked environment to design, develop, test and scale their ideas and get to market fast. For more information visit:

Tank and Storage Association

The Tank Storage Association (TSA) represents the interests of over 80 member companies engaged in bulk storage and energy infrastructure and the provision of products and services to the sector. Collectively, its members operate 309 terminals and distribution hubs in the UK and have over 11 million cubic metres of storage capacity in the United Kingdom (UK) and Republic of Ireland (ROI). TSA’s members provide and support an essential interface between sea, road, rail and pipeline logistics for many different substances including transport and heating fuels, chemicals, animal feed and foodstuffs. For more information visit:


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