Skills eFlash #106

Skills eFlash #106

Skills eFlash #106
Date: 07-Apr-2022

In this edition: Water Skills Forum - Registrations Now Open!| Growing Workforce Participation Fund| Fundamentals Webinar| Water Training Platform Update| Skills Advocacy| Australian Industry Standards - NWP Flood Site Operations Feedback

1. Water Skills Forum - Registrations Now Open!

Registrations are now open for the Water Skills Forum to be held on Thursday, 2 June 2022.
We have managed to keep most of the program advertised earlier in the year with only a couple of minor changes made.
The forum will still proceed as a hybrid event so virtual registrations are available; however, we encourage you to attend the forum in person if you are able.
Graham Fraine, the Director General of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water, has agreed to attend the last session to discuss industry skilling challenges and potential solutions.
The Forum will explore the Lifecycle of a Water Industry Worker, with three half-hour panel sessions exploring possible career paths, from ways to gain interest through pre-vocational opportunities to traineeships, graduate employment and industry co-investment models to entice postgraduate industry research. It also includes a session on a successful transition to retirement model.
The event will also include an “Attraction Hack” for a bit of fun but with a serious intent – to give us useful ideas to build awareness of the great opportunities in our industry. It’s your big chance to get creative and think outside the box.
To see the program for the forum, please visit our event website.
Thank you to our sponsors TAFE Queensland and Simmonds and Bristow for their support of the upcoming forum.
Whether you can attend in person at our office in Eagle Farm or online, we look forward to welcoming you to the Water Skills Partnership signature annual event.

2. Growing Workforce Participation Fund

As a part of the Queensland Governments ‘Back to Work’ initiative, the Growing Workforce Participation Fund is aimed at developing partnerships with industries to build longevity and sustainability in the workforce
One-off grant funding of $20,000 to $200,000 will be available to projects that meet the eligibility requirements.
Eligible projects are:

  • projects that aim to increase labour market participation and engagement from the targeted groups under Back to Work
  • pre-employment support projects
  • workforce planning and/or development and associated resource development
  • projects that address industry identified employment shortages.

There is a specific focus on groups of people who must benefit:

  • young people (aged 15-24 years)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • people with disability and
  • long-term unemployed people (unemployed for 52 weeks or longer).

Links to Guidelines and Terms and Conditions

Round 1 application opened 28 March and closes 9 May.
David Cameron and Anna Mehonoshen from qldwater attended an Industry Skills Advisor meeting where the fund was discussed. We believe it was too short to compile feedback from our stakeholders and prepare a submission within the timeframe provided. Feedback was given about the timeframe for submission, that more time is needed.

It was then advised in the meeting that there is likely to be a second round of funding in the next financial year.

This will also be discussed in the upcoming Water Skills Partnership meeting taking place on Thursday 22nd June.

3. Fundamentals Webinar

Thank you to Terry Fagg for presenting an excellent Fundamentals Webinar on ‘Presence/Absence of E. coli Test’ earlier this month.
Coming up next on 21 April is Kathryn Turner on ‘Lagoon Management’, please follow this link to register.
Previous webinar topics can be found here
Do you have a fundamental topic you’d like to see covered? Please contact us at

4. Water Training Platform Update

The website continues to grow with great uptake of both the Aqua and Brown Cards in QLD, especially from contractors that are now required by several Councils to complete the training before working on site.

The Aqua Card NSW is live and starting to gain traction. The Brown Card NSW has undergone user testing and should go live during April 2022.

qldwater has signed an agreement with the South Australian Government to build and host the SA version of the Brown Card. All content has been updated for an SA audience and user testing has been completed. The course went live on 1 April 2022. These interstate opportunities help us offset the significant costs of hosting our LMS and provide opportunities for future content sharing. While some contextualisation has been required for these courses with different regulatory regimes, the fundamentals of maintaining safe drinking water and the environment while working on network assets are consistent.

Two older courses have been updated and moved to the watertraining website – the Introduction to the Water Industry is now live, and the Introduction to Risk Management is in the process of final review.
Work has started on the Green Card which will focus on environmental policies and legislation, and another course looking at water sampling.

5. Skills Advocacy

qldwater through the Water Skills Partnership and in our role as an Industry Skills Advisor to the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training (DESBT) and as a member of the Water Industry Reference Committee, is regularly asked to provide input to policy and investment decisions to support the skilling and training needs of the Queensland water industry workforce. The following is an overview of recent and other related activities:
Operator Shortage Discussion
Dave Cameron attended the Queensland Workforce Summit held by the state government on 11 March which focused on the skilling challenges created by the pandemic and significant population and economic growth since 2020. There was a lot of excitement about the Olympics, opportunities which the state’s investment in Hydrogen projects may create, funding announcements for emerging industries but little on essential services and this was the focus of Dave’s feedback.
We are currently developing a paper to focus on the challenge of sourcing operators which became even more acute during the COVID start to 2020 and recent weather events and invite members to contribute experiences by contacting

Post Summit Resources
Summit Outcomes
Summary Videos

VET Reforms
DESE and The Social Deck hosted a roundtable discussion with industries regarding the delivery of Vocational Education and Training to secondary students. In these discussions we heard mostly from the Health and Early Years Education sectors about how they currently engage with secondary schools to promote VET over higher education and apprenticeships. TAFE QLD offers ‘Trade Taster Programs’ to year 10 students delivered in sessions held one day a week for nine weeks. This program is fully funded to eligible students by the Queensland Government.
The challenge our industry faces is that Water Operator training requires onsite learning and assessment with a qualified industry member due to the specialised equipment that is required. We intend to ramp up activity on programs (like micro-credentials, “Tasters,” foundation skills) which can better promote the industry to school students.
If you have had experience with tapping into the secondary school sector and would like to provide any feedback or ideas, please contact us at

6. Australian Industry Standards - NWP Flood Site Operations Feedback

On behalf of the Water Industry Reference Committee, the TAC has drafted materials for NWP Flood Site Operations and is requesting stakeholder feedback.

The draft materials provide a national standard for operational practices in flood management and flood warning sites. The new unit will be an elective in the Certificate III of Water Industry Operations.

To view the drafts, click below:

Unit of Competency

Skill Set

Mapping Attachment Document

Please submit your feedback by close of business Tuesday, 3 May 2022.

Submit your feedback

Feedback will be collated and discussed at the next TAC meeting

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