Skills eFlash #88

Skills eFlash #88

Skills eFlash #88
Date: 04-Jun-2020

Join us for qldwater’s new Fundamentals Webinar Series  

qldwater is pleased to invite you to the trial of our new “Fundamentals” webinar series. The webinars will provide practical demonstrations of common water and wastewater treatment and network operations tasks. 

Terry Fagg, Water Treatment Principal, Western Downs Regional Council will provide a presentation and video demonstration of media filter backwashing at our first webinar at 10.00am on Wednesday 17 June. Employees of qldwater members and Water Skills Partners are invited to join us and we encourage you to invite your team members and colleagues. 

Please register in advance via the following link: and you will receive a confirmation email with information about joining the webinar.

Depending on feedback from the first event, we’ll look to continue these webinars on a monthly basis and welcome volunteers for presentations. Please contact Carlie Sargent with any queries on 07 3632 6853 or

Leadership Presentation: From Tools to Team

Those who attended our 2020 Water Skills Forum will recall Troy Pettiford’s presentation about his progression from working as a plumber through many roles and career steps to his current role as Whitsunday Regional Council’s Chief Operating Officer. Following feedback from the Water Skills Partnership members, Troy repeated his presentation at one of qldwater’s Essentials webinars so that others could hear his career journey and the key skills he believes are essential for developing the next generation of water industry leaders. 

The presentation has been recorded and we encourage you to share it with your staff to help inspire them to pursue leadership opportunities. View the presentation here.

Qualifications Update

The Department of Employment, Small Business and Training has confirmed that the recently revised NWP20119 ‘Certificate II in Water Industry Operations’ and NWP30219 ‘Certificate III in Water Industry Operations’ have now been added to the Queensland Priority Skills List and User Choice Funding List to allow eligible students to receive subsidies from the Queensland Government to complete these courses. If you have any questions about enrolling in these qualifications please contact Carlie Sargent on 3632 6853.

Online Training Opportunities

In response to COVID-19, a number of organisations have been offering online training courses and education to support individuals to upskill during this unusual time. There. There are a number of courses that may be of interest to water industry employees:

  • The Queensland Government has made available a range of free, online training courses;
  • TAFE Queensland has a number of free micro-credentials available, one being ‘Cyber Security Essentials’ which is something Water Skills Partners have expressed interest in previously and USQ is also offering a free cyber security mini course;
  • Recordings of qldwater’s weekly webinars are available here;
  • IPWEAQ is offering mini conferences and an online Learning Hub that was demonstrated at the recent Water Skills Forum; and
  • WIOA will soon be launching its ‘Virtual Water Event’ with a number of live days commencing on Wednesday 22 July for sharing technical information. qldwater will be supporting the virtual event and will advise when registrations and a program is available.

Nominations extended for Queensland Training Awards

The Queensland Government has extended the closing date for their annual training awards to Tuesday 30 June 2020. The awards recognise excellence in vocational education and training and there are many great examples of water industry trainees worthy of nomination. The awards have been moved online and winners will be announced online later in the year. For more information visit:

qldwater is happy to assist with the nomination process. Please contact Carlie Sargent on 3632 6853.

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) 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:

DESBT has invited qldwater to provide suggestions of initiatives to support job creation and economic recovery in response to the impacts of COVID-19. Our response stressed that robust water and sewerage services are critical to underpin regional economic growth and pointed to a number of opportunities to support the workforce and stimulate economic growth. These included infrastructure investment and renewal, regional scale initiatives, improved remote assistance technologies for mentoring and training and the introduction of micro-credentials for providing the skills required for basic water and wastewater treatment and networks tasks. We have been advised that we will continue to be invited to provide input and will keep members informed as plans are developed.

There are a number of other national advocacy efforts highlighting the critical role of the water sector in the post-COVID economic recovery. In a submission to the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission Utilities Work Stream, the Australian Water Association (AWA) provided recommendations for maximising employment and boosting economic activities including the establishment a fund of $100M for an employee/trainee scheme to increase resources for regional water utilities that includes dedicated training for the new employees and apprentices onsite.

Just last week, the Prime Minister announced the ‘Job Maker’ plan that intends to overhaul the vocational education and training (VET) system including the national skills funding agreement with the States. qldwater has provided a number of submissions relating to the future needs of the VET sector including a recent submission to the Productivity Commission’s Review of the National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development. The release of the report from this review has been delayed due to COVID-19 but we expect an interim report to be released soon. You can read our submission in our resource library

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