Skills eFlash #91

Skills eFlash #91

Skills eFlash #91
Date: 01-Oct-2020

In this edition: Brown Card Available Now! | Fundamentals Webinar Next Week | Water Industry Foundation Skills Micro-Credentials | Queensland Training Awards | Skills Advocacy | Upcoming Events

Brown Card Available Now!

The Brown Card, an online training course for those working on wastewater and recycled water assets, is now available at

Following on from the success of the Aqua Card, the Brown Card provides an overview of the importance of, and requirements for, maintaining public health, minimising environmental harm and general workplace health and safety when working in, on or near sewerage and recycled water assets. It includes topics like regulations and standards, risks and safety, managing health risks and specific types of work tasks. 

Employees of Water Skills Partners and qldwater Members have complimentary access to the course. Please email to obtain your complimentary access code, then visit New users need to create an account or for those who have completed the Aqua Card, you can login using your previously entered details. Non-members and contractors can access the course for $50 including GST with payment made via the watertraining site.

Thank you to Barry Holcroft for developing the first detailed version of the content and to Alan Kleinschmidt for the initial list of contents. And thank you to the following members who provided feedback and assistance in the development of the course: Shaun Johnston, Michelle Bayan, Hayley Colls, Kathryn Turner, Troy Pettiford, Janice Wilson, Narelle D’Amico, Simon Page and Robert Chisholm. Thank you also to those who kindly contributed photographs.

Fundamentals Webinar Next Week

Have you registered for our next Fundamentals Webinar to be held next Tuesday 6 October from 10-11am? Murray Thompson, a highly regarded and experienced trainer will provide an overview of ‘High-Pressure Water Jetting (HPWJ) – Clearing Sewer Chokes & Blockages’. Register now!

Later in the month we’ll be hosting a second presentation from Terry Fagg, Western Downs Regional Council on Wednesday 21 October from 10-11am. Terry will be discussing ‘The Fundamentals of Chlorine Disinfection’. Register now.

We are planning to offer the Fundamentals Webinars on a monthly basis with sessions scheduled for Tuesday 10 November and Wednesday 2 December. Topics will be advised soon and the webinars will return again from February 2021.

Water Industry Foundation Skills Micro-Credentials

We are currently finalising arrangements for the roll-out of qldwater’s Water Industry Foundation Skills Micro-Credentials supported by the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training. The Micro-Credentials will be non-accredited courses, based on knowledge components from units of competency from the National Water Training Package and will be recognised via a Certificate of Completion. There are likely to be a variety of delivery options available, including distance learning, virtual classroom and face to face workshops. Prices will vary for each option but all will be subsidised by 50% by the Department as part of this pilot program. 

There will be three micro-credentials available covering the following content:

Water Treatment Foundation Skills - an overview of the water treatment process, water quality risks, basic lab testing skills and basic chemical handling/safety

Wastewater Treatment Foundation Skills - an overview of the wastewater treatment process, environmental risks, basic sampling and testing, basic chemical handling/safety

Network Operations Foundation Skills - risk management, locating and protecting utilities, maintaining and repairing network assets for water and wastewater, restoring a work site, installing trench support or operating high pressure water jetting systems

We hope to have the programs available within the next month. In the meantime please contact Carlie Sargent on 07 3632 6853 or for more information.

Queensland Training Awards

Whilst the program didn’t come away with the State title, congratulations are in order for those involved in the Regional Water Industry Worker Pilot Program, which was recognised as a State Finalist in the Premier’s Industry Collaboration Award at the Queensland Training Awards recently. It was also fantastic to see Shannon McNamara, a recent Seqwater Trainee and now a fully qualified Dam Operator, was recognised as the Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year for the South East region. Unfortunately Shannon didn’t take out the State award, but being selected as a regional finalist is fantastic recognition for Shannon and also for Seqwater’s successful traineeship program. It is also great acknowledgement of the importance and value of water industry training in general.

Congratulations to all nominees, finalists and winners. As a judge for one of the award categories, qldwater’s Skills Manager, Carlie Sargent, commented that the achievements of all nominees showed the value of a VET qualification and the many benefits both to trainees and their employers. The full list of winners for all categories is available online. 

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:

Qualifications and Funding Workshop

To inform our advice to DESBT on VET investment, qldwater recently convened a workshop of Water Skills Partners to ask for an indication of likely skilling and training needs for 2021 and to gather feedback on current qualification subsidy levels. qldwater provided an overview of the various qualifications and subsidies and explored the options for training pathways to support workers in different stages of their careers. The group discussed options for upskilling existing staff, including those looking to become Certified Operators and were keen for qldwater to explore the development of competency ‘clusters’ to support common gap training needs. There was interest in growing the number of trainees in the industry but many reported ongoing barriers to recruitment and retention of trainees, including the inability to guarantee a permanent role at the end of a traineeship and recruitment freezes in response to recent economic impacts. qldwater has followed up with a survey to Water Skills Partners to gather more details about the typical barriers being experienced to prepare an issues/briefing paper. Thank you to all those who participated in the workshop and have followed up with more information to support our advocacy efforts.

Digital Transformation Discussion Paper

Earlier this year, the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) established a Digital Transformation Expert Panel to provide advice on how Australia’s VET system can most effectively respond to digital change underway across industry and its impact on the nation’s workforce. The Panel has produced a discussion paper and is seeking views about the following five key areas of focus:

•    Training products

•    Teaching and learning

•    Learner support mechanisms

•    Industry leadership

•    System settings

The Water Industry Reference Committee will be providing a response to the discussion paper. If anyone has views to contribute, please contact Carlie Sargent on before 8 October. 

Upcoming Events

Tuesday 6 October – Fundamentals Webinar, ‘High-Pressure Water Jetting (HPWJ) – Clearing Sewer Chokes & Blockages’

Thursday 8 October – deadline for responses to the Digital Transformation Discussion Paper

Wednesday 21 October – Fundamentals Webinar, ‘The Fundamentals of Chlorine Disinfection’

Tuesday 10 November – Fundamentals Webinar, topic TBC

Wednesday 2 December – Fundamentals Webinar, topic TBC

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