Skills eFlash #124

Skills eFlash #124

Skills eFlash #124
Date: 08-Dec-2023

In this edition:  Upcoming pumping webinar | Micro-credentials for supervisors of apprentices and trainees | Water quality fundamentals training | FREE online business continuity and workforce planning courses and much more! 

1. Operational Workforce and Skills Workshop 

The Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water’s (RDMW) Urban Water Risk Assessment Program have identified skills and training issues as a key risk for the sector.

In response, the Department hosted an Operational Workforce and Skills Workshop at qldwater offices on Monday, 13 December to identify and discuss key issues. Attendees included representatives from RDMW, Department of Youth Justice, Employment, Small Business and Training (DYJESBT), Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning (DSDILGP), Queensland Health, Water Industry Operators Association of Australia (WIOA), Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ), Griffith University, the Water Industry Worker Coordinator, Chair of the Water Skills Partnership as well as qldwater staff. 

Award structures and remuneration was one of the issues raised, leading to the development of an HR/IR Project funded through QWRAP. The project will deliver materials and resources to assist HR teams, including a range of template position descriptions for operators across all levels in the award. These position description templates will reflect the levels of responsibility of operators and the technical complexity of modern plants, helping water managers to pitch the classification of operator duties at the right level in the Local Government Award and Grading systems. 

LGAQ, Manager, Workforce and Industrial Relations, Elle Ackland has joined the reference group for this project and will work with qldwater to have these position descriptions recognised in the relevant awards that govern employment in our sector. Elle and our team will make submissions to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission to reinforce the details in the position descriptions, thereby ensuring appropriate recognition in the award of operator responsibilities.

2. Upcoming Webinar, 25 January 2024: Fundamentals of Pumping Specific Energy 

No one denies the importance of pumping water. But how efficient are these pumping systems at delivering today’s needs while being environmentally friendly enough to preserve the planet for future generations?

Current models for calling tenders for pumping systems are often based on price. The lowest price pump system is usually also the highest emitter of greenhouse gases, which does not bode well for our grandchildren’s future.

In this webinar, Rob Welke from the Water Pumping Institute in Adelaide presents The Fundamentals of Pumping Specific Energy.

This presentation will de-mystify what specific energy is and quantify it in terms which are relevant to daily water industry pumping operations. In particular, it will reveal how pipeline efficiency is the major driver of pumping specific energy.

Rob has 55 years’ experience in water pumping and hydraulics and has never sold product, so his presentations are unbiased and packed with fascinating case studies.

The webinar is scheduled to take place at 10am on 25 January 2024 and will be set up as an event on the qldwater website shortly, where members can see details and register to attend.

Please keep an eye on our Upcoming Events page for details.

3. New micro-credentials for supervisors of apprentices and trainees 

As part of the Queensland Government's commitment to creating healthy and safe workplaces, employers of apprentices and trainees can now access two FREE online micro-credentials to help supervisors mentor and provide apprentices and trainees with safe workplaces.

The training is offered through TAFE Queensland and can be completed 100% in your own time. 

Find more information, resources and some helpful apprentice and trainee program related troubleshooting links here.

4. Is your business prepared? FREE  continuity planning course 

In an ever-changing business landscape, unforeseen events can quickly reshape the direction of your business. This is where a new Continuity Planning Course can help.

This comprehensive 7-week course, led by Dr Wayne Graham, is designed to equip Queensland business owners and managers with the tools to develop a robust continuity plan. Whether you are looking to tackle challenges or seize new opportunities, this course has you covered.

You will learn from renowned academics and industry experts who will guide you on protecting your investments, effectively managing risks and building resilience. Additionally, you’ll connect with like-minded business owners and managers to solve problems together through group scenarios.

Participants who fully complete the course, including all assessment items, will earn one elective course credit towards UniSC’s Graduate Certificate in Business Administration. 

Start dates

Course 1: 9am-11am, Tuesday 27 February 2024 (UniSC Caboolture)

Course 2: 9am-11am, Wednesday 24 April 2024 UniSC (Sunshine Coast)

Duration: 2 hours per week for 7 weeks

(Both courses have an online attendance option too)

Cost: FREE – but registrations are essential

The Continuity Planning Course is delivered in partnership with the Queensland Department of Youth Justice, Employment, Small Business and Training (DYJESBT)

5. Water Quality Fundamentals Training – final training date from TPS 

TPS Precision Measurement have a long history (founded 1968) of manufacture of water quality testing equipment, all made here in Australia. They are also the preferred partner of the Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee.

The final date for their brand agnostic training will take place in Brisbane from 9am to 5pm on 19 January 2024. Food and refreshments are included.

The course aims to equip operators and technicians with the expertise to maximise the potential of water quality equipment and includes training on:

•The top five water parameters (pH, ORP, EC, DO and NTU)

•Good measurement practise

•Sensor technology

•Accuracy and verification

•Equipment care


•Troubleshooting techniques

•Best practice sensor storage

For more information and to register, follow this link.

6. Jobs Queensland Grow Your Own Regional Workforce 

As an outcome of the first Action Plan (2022-2025) under the Good people. Good jobs: Queensland Workforce Strategy 2022-2032, Jobs Queensland is partnering with regions to develop workforce plans and/or initiatives to support “grow your own” (GYO) workforces and cross-sector skills development. 

The 'Grow Your Own' (GYO) Regional Workforce Program enables key local stakeholders and industry representatives to identify workforce needs and plan what skills are required to meet the needs of their sector and support their region’s economic goals. It’s all about using local workforce approaches, connected to local economic opportunities.

Projects supported through the GYO Regional Workforce Program will be action-based, addressing local solutions and driven by regional industry stakeholders. Under round one of the program, four regional industries will benefit from support and funding including the water sector in Far North Queensland:

In partnership with Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (FNQROC), this project will understand how best to attract, retain, reskill and upskill the future workforce is pivotal to safe and consistent water supply. This project will work with Far North water industry leaders to bring together key information on the workforce needs of their industry and develop a clear pathway forward to address critical skills shortages.

The project details are available online.

7. EOI Workforce Planning Course | Taking EOIs for 2024 – a reminder! 

Throughout 2023 the University of the Sunshine Coast has been running a series of FREE courses designed to help Queensland business owners and managers fully understand their workforce by developing an agile, flexible workforce plan to respond to changes in the business environment. The bad news is that the popular series has now ended – the great news is that they’re back in 2024!

The Workforce Planning Course is proudly supported by DYJESBT in partnership with Jobs Queensland.

Employing principles of workforce planning and by examining the operational, tactical and strategic focus, the plan will complement and integrate into an organisation’s overall business planning. 

The course is open to business owners and managers located in Queensland and is also a great way to experience what it is like to study at university and open up a pathway into a higher-level qualification. Upon completion of all modules and submission of assessment items, you will be eligible to receive a Certificate of Completion and a credit for one elective course in UniSC's Graduate Certificate in Business Administration.

The content is delivered as workshops within this short course. The weekly schedule includes the development of a customised workforce plan and helps businesses to respond to workforce needs, challenges and changes. Topics covered will include stakeholder planning and analysis, creating a workforce profile and identifying workforce supply and demand dynamics. 

Participants are welcome to attend in person at UniSC locations or via Zoom. 

If you’d like to take part, please express your interest here.

Based on previous experience, places will fill up fast so please be quick!

8. Have your say on Jobs and Skills Australia's 2024-25 work plan 

Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) is seeking input into its 2024-25 work plan which will guide its work agenda for the next 12-months following a productive and successful 2023-24.  

JSA provides the best possible research, evidence, and advice to interested parties, decision, and policy makers to help shape Australia’s workforce, skills, and training needs. As we look ahead to the new year, JSA seeks input from interested stakeholders and partners, and the public, to contribute to its’ forward plans.  

JSA consults with its tripartite partners and industry stakeholders to develop its work and now, wants to hear from you to develop and refine the work plan that reflects the diverse needs of our evolving job market and workforce needs.  

Stakeholders interested in contributing to the consultation process can make a submission until 24 January 2024. For more information and instructions on how to provide a submission, see the Jobs and Skills Australia's 2024-25 work plan consultation page.

9. Best wishes for the festive season and thanks to all 

As this is the last Skills E-Flash for the year, the team at qldwater would like to take this opportunity to wish all members and stakeholders a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. It has been our pleasure to work with you over the course of the 2023.

Heartfelt thanks from all the team for the continued support of our community. We look forward to picking up renewed and refreshed with you all in 2024 and continuing to champion our vital, essential industry sector.

Upcoming Events 

  • 25 January - Fundamentals of Pumping Specific Energy
  • 16 March - Local Government elections
  • 19 April - Water Skills Forum, Parliament House, Brisbane
  • 22-23 August - qldwater Annual Forum
  • 26 October - State Government elections

Kind Regards,


qldwater is a business unit of IPWEAQ

Back to list

More Reading

Back to list