Skills eFlash #115

Skills eFlash #115

Skills eFlash #115
Date: 06-Apr-2023

In this edition: Skills Forum | Upcoming Skills Partnership Meeting |Train and Retain campaign series start with respect | Free Workforce Planning Course at USC | DESBT Micro-credentialing Program Funding Opens | and much more! 

Information for Water Industry Managers, Human Resources Personnel and Employees in the Queensland Water Industry
(Issue #115 - 6 April 2023)

1. Skills Forum 2023 – 8 June 2023 at qldwater Offices 

Planning continues for this year’s event, taking place at our Eagle Farm Offices. It’s our 5th Skills Forum and it coincides with qldwater’s 20th Anniversary year, so we’ll make sure to mark that milestone and we’d love to have you with us to do so! 

A program with a wide range of presenters and topics covered from our membership community, partners and stakeholders as well as Government colleagues is being lined up. 

They’ll all be linked to raising the profile of the industry this year, which is so critical at this moment in time.

Watch this space for more updates but please put the date in your calendars. The event will run all day with ample time for networking.

2. Upcoming Skills Partnership Meeting – 27 April 2023 

The next Skills Partnership Meeting is now diarised as an online event via Microsoft Teams. Meeting invites will be forwarded to all Skills Partnership members shortly so please watch those inboxes.

A formal agenda will also be circulated, but proposed topics for consideration at this moment are: 

  • gathering member’s views on the level of subsidy provided by DESBT for training (across all qualifications and programs – both C3G and User Choice), 
  • critical shortages in the workforce
  • discuss measures/initiatives members are using or considering to better attract/retain and compete
  • what would be of most assistance to members on those issues in terms of Government and qldwater support.

Some of this information will be fed into the ISA price review document that qldwater completes, which informs DESBT on subsidy provision both now and into the future.

We would encourage members to provide feedback on their experiences of subsidy programs and funding levels, and we’ll also gather feedback on what recommendations for change industry has. Please come prepared with feedback and suggestions to help inform our strategy for improvements across subsidy programs and training in general.

If members wish to submit another agenda item, then please email by 14 April 2023. 

3. Water Industry Snapshot Report 2022 Update 

A huge thanks to all members that took the time to provide their survey information this year. The response levels far exceeded those of previous report requests.

We, as a team, are extremely grateful for the feedback, particularly when we know resources are so stretched in our community.

Work continues to make sense of the data and to generate an informative report to encourage evidence-based decision making by Government and other stakeholders.


4. DESBT Micro-credentialing Program Funding Opens 

The Micro-credentialing Program provides an opportunity to support changing workplaces by enabling the provision of focused training for new or transitioning employees in specific skills. This will support businesses and industries to adopt innovations and improve productivity.

Successful applicants for the 2023 Program will receive up to $250,000 to design, develop and deliver one or more micro-credentials aligned to specific industry skill gaps. The skill outcomes targeted for the program will not be nationally recognised (i.e. vocational education and training (VET)), as these outcomes can be supported under existing VET investment programs.

The program aims to:

  • support a range of approaches to micro-credentials targeting priority industry skills by industry and through regional partnerships
  • improve employability of participants by providing skills in demand from industry
  • increase labour productivity of enterprises through investment in technical, digital or other emerging issues not addressed through existing VET products.

qldwater in its role as the Industry Skills Advisor will make an application for funding to provide access to micro-credential material for the benefit of members. The application will reflect information gathered from Skills Partners over the past few months in preparation for the next round of funding.

5. QG ‘Train and Retain’ campaign series starts with respect 

The Queensland Government has launched the first in a series of campaigns designed to promote, support and drive change for apprentices and trainees, particularly female apprentices, as well as women and girls aspiring for great careers in male-dominated occupations like traditional trades.

Launched during Queensland Women’s Week (5-12 March 2023), the Let’s Protect Respect campaign promotes respect and support available to all apprentices, trainees and employers – so they know their rights and obligations, and where to turn for help if things go wrong at work.

Focused on both retention and attraction, the campaign series is part of the government’s three-year Train and Retain strategy, which aims to forge a stronger, inclusive training system that delivers for apprentices, trainees and employers, as well as our economy.

The strategy includes a range of actions in response to a 2022 review of support by the Queensland Training Ombudsman and is part of the Queensland Workforce Strategy – connecting good people to good jobs. 

Learn more about the campaign and find promotional materials you can share here.

6. Free Workforce Planning Course at USC – DESBT in association with Jobs Queensland (JQ) 

Did you know you can access a workforce planning course for free? 

Jobs Queensland and University of the Sunshine Coast have partnered to develop a course around JQ’s Workforce Planning Connect resources to guide you through the workforce planning process. 

Registrations are hereand are open until 28 April; the course can be attended online. 

7. Expressions of Interest (EOI) - Activated Sludge and Biological Nutrient Reduction (ASBNR) course in Townsville 

EOIs are sought for the above 5-day course, which will take place on 16-23 October 2023, delivered by Griffith University, kindly hosted by James Cook University.

This will be a pilot program for a regional hub-based training delivery. The NQ QWRAP Water Alliance are preparing a bid pool application (Townsville Regional Council lead) to assist reducing the participant costs by covering the expenses associated with trainers reaching the region to deliver. Costs for the training delivery itself is still funded by the employer. The maximum cohort that can participate is 25 students.

Once likely participation levels are known, costs will be confirmed before full commitment is sought and finalisation of the bid pool application for submission to the Partners for decision. 

Please forward your EOI, confirming participant numbers, through to by 26 April 2023.

8. New Code to Improve Mental Health in Queensland Workplaces Starts 

A new mental health workplace code “Managing the risk of psychosocial hazards at work Code of Practice” came into force on Saturday 1 April 2023.

It is designed to empower Queensland businesses with practical information and guidance to create mentally healthy workplaces across the state.

The code, which is the first legally enforceable code of its type in Australia, will directly address psychological health risks at work which can be anything from exposure to traumatic events to remote or isolated working.

The code includes advice on how to comply with existing health and safety obligations, after a national review found many employers were unsure of their duties to manage psychological health and safety risks at work.

It also provides practical examples of managing psychosocial hazards in the workplace, industry-specific case studies, and a range of helpful templates that businesses can tailor to suit their needs.

The Code of Practice can be accessed here.

9. Have your say: Clean Energy Capacity Study 

Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) is seeking your views about the workforce and skills Australia needs to transition to a clean energy economy. 

A discussion paper is now available on the JSA website for comment. JSA is inviting submissions from all interested stakeholders including business, unions, and education and training providers until 2 May 2023. The final terms of reference for the study have also been published. The capacity study will build on existing research and deepen understanding of the clean energy sector by:  

  • clarifying what jobs and industries make up Australia’s clean energy workforce  
  • analysing different scenarios for how we could reach net zero by 2050, understanding how many workers will be needed (and where) and who will have the skills to take on those jobs 
  • exploring how the workforce opportunities created by clean energy can be shared across regions and with First Nations Australians, women, people with disability and Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds 
  • examining the possibilities for workers in high-emitting sectors to transition to new roles in their communities that will build on their existing skills and experience 
  • identifying the education, training and migration pathways that we should be developing, and the underlying system settings needed to enable those pathways.  

Submissions to the Clean Energy Capacity Study can be made until 5pm AEST on Tuesday 2 May 2023.  

You can submit your response by emailing the Clean Energy Capacity Study team at:  

10. Water Corporation becomes first Australian water utility accredited as a Disability Confident Recruiter 

Water Corporation has been officially accredited as a Disability Confident Recruiter, recognising its improved recruitment processes that help employees with disability find and retain work.

The utility has become one of just 27 organisations nationally – and the first water service provider in Australia – to be accredited as a Disability Confident Recruiter.

Announced by West Australian Water Minister, Simone McGurk, the accreditation recognises Water Corporation’s work to identify and remove common recruitment barriers for people with disability. 

Water Corporation’s commitment to improving employment outcomes for people with disability is stated in its Disability Access and Inclusion Plan, which supports a diverse and inclusive workforce.

Under the plan, Water Corporation works closely with disability employment providers to promote job opportunities, particularly through career entry and graduate programs.

One such initiative, undertaken with disability employment provider Edge, has seen three high school-aged students complete traineeships and go on to obtain permanent employment with the utility. 

A further four school-aged trainees with disabilities will join the program in March 2023. 

Water corporation’s Disability Access Inclusion Plan can be accessed here.

Upcoming Events 

27 April 2023 - Skills Partnership Meeting – online MS Teams 

8 June 2023 - Water Skills Forum - qldwater offices, Eagle Farm 

Kind Regards,


qldwater is a business unit of IPWEAQ

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