It’s hard to believe we were gathered together only a few weeks ago for the third annual Queensland Water Skills Forum, before COVID-19 really started to have an impact.
Thank you to those who attended the forum and for your contributions to discussions. We had almost 80 people participate in a full day of presentations and workshops and from the feedback so far, the day was very well received. Thank you very much to all of our presenters who were so open in sharing their experiences and insights. Thank you also to our sponsor, TAFE Queensland – SkillsTech for their generous support once again.
All presentations are now available on our website for you to download. Please visit: https://ipweaq.eventsair.com/qwd-water-skills-partnership/agenda.
Feedback from the event and opportunities for collaborative initiatives will be considered by the Water Skills Partnership when it is next able to meet. Please contact Carlie Sargent on 07 3632 6853 if you have any queries.
Ten Water Treatment Operators from Bundaberg, Fraser Coast, North Burnett and South Burnett Regional Councils met in Kingaroy earlier this month for a workshop coordinated by qldwater and presented by SkillsTech, covering content from two water treatment units from the National Water Training Package (NWP). Some of the operators are completing their Certificate III in Water Industry Operations and others participated to complete gap training to work towards Operator Certification.
Thank you to South Burnett Regional Council, particularly Adam Branch and Andy Watson, for hosting the training which provided an opportunity for operators to meet and learn from each other. As part of the workshop, operators were given a tour of the Nereda Wastewater Treatment Plant and attended a networking dinner, kindly sponsored by Aquatec Maxcon. Adam Branch, Program Coordinator, Water and Wastewater, South Burnett Regional Council said of the training:
‘Water and Wastewater operators are the gatekeepers to public and environmental health, investing in their personal development is an investment directly to the health and safety of our community. As rural water service providers we often question ourselves on the cost of the training, and not overall value add to our employees. Collaborating with our neighbouring councils has assisted us to make this a far more cost viable option. But what is immeasurable on a spreadsheet is the value of the operators networking. It was a great opportunity for SBRC to contribute.’
You can view photos of the tour and training at: https://qldwater.smugmug.com/WBBROC-Regional-Training-Kingaroy/
Any regions looking to arrange joint NWP training in future are invited to contact Carlie Sargent on 07 3632 6853 to assist.
As many of you would already know from our other e-flashes and through your own networks, there is a lot of collaborative effort underway within the water industry for managing through these unprecedented times. qldwater has set up a Zoho Forum where new information is being added daily including:
- Links to useful videos, respected web sites and other sources along with fact sheets provided by the Water Services Association of Australia
- High level guidance on business continuity planning (key things to consider)
- Great, simple planning resources provided by councils, e.g. Pandemic Management Plan
- Discussion documents on collective industry responses/ submissions to key regulators to assist in managing compliance as members start to face supply shortages
- Updates on broader efforts including Queensland Government planning
If you are not yet linked into that and would like to be included, please email Rob Fearon on email@example.com.
DNRME has formed a working group which is now meeting several times a week has a number of activities underway, including consideration of potential workforce impacts and DNRME’s Water Supply Regulation division has sent a survey to all service providers with questions about the impact of COVID-19. qldwater is working with Urban Utilities in making contact with a number of commercial providers who may be able to offer support for regional members in the coming weeks/months with a teleconference scheduled for 31 March and more information to follow after that.
qldwater has also been exploring options for remote instruction should the need arise in any locations, including the ruggerdised hard hats demonstrated at the Water Skills Forum and other wearable devices/teleconferencing options. Please contact Carlie Sargent if you are interested to know more.
If you have any workforce issues you’d like assistance with, please don’t hesitate to contact Carlie Sargent on firstname.lastname@example.org or Dave Cameron on email@example.com.
As was said at the Water Skills Forum, we’re not in competition, collaboration is key for the water industry and that is certainly evident right now with so much willingness to share information and offer support. Until the next Skills e-Flash, stay safe and please don’t hesitate to contact any of us at qldwater if we can assist you at this time. We are well set up to work remotely and are available for you to contact as follows: https://www.qldwater.com.au/qldwater_staff.
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