Skills eFlash #92

Skills eFlash #92

Skills eFlash #92
Date: 29-Oct-2020

In this edition: Save the Date - Water Skills Forum 2021| Foundation Skills Micro-Credentials – Enrol Now!| Fundamentals Webinars| WSAA Mental Health Framework| Free Pre-Excavation Management Course| Skills Advocacy| Upcoming Events

1. Save the Date - Water Skills Forum 2021

Block out your diaries, the 2021 Water Skills Forum will be held on Thursday, 4 March 2021. In response to the unusual circumstances we find ourselves in since our 2020 event, we plan to offer next year’s forum as a hybrid event, with delegates invited to attend in person at our new event space in Eagle Farm or participate virtually.

The 2021 Forum will focus on a couple of key themes that have been identified throughout the year and at our previous forum in March:

  • Succession Planning – workforce planning, transitioning to retirement, engaging trainees and barriers to recruitment;
  • Leadership – what more is needed to meet this skills gap, case studies of recent leadership programs and improving coaching and mentoring skills across the industry; and
  • Future Training Needs – what is the future demand for water industry training, how has COVID changed water industry training, engaging subject matter experts to meet increasing demand for training and what soft skills training does the industry need.

If you have a presentation or case study that supports one of the above themes, please contact Carlie Sargent by 11 November.

We hope to have a draft program available prior to Christmas and registrations will open in January. In the meantime, reserve the date in your diary and join us for what will be a new kind of Water Skills Forum. Please contact Carlie Sargent on 07 3632 6853 or if you have ideas or questions about the forum.

2. Foundation Skills Micro-Credentials – Enrol Now

Enrolments are now open for some of the Water Industry Foundation Skills Micro-Credentials supported by the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training. Additional course options will be made available in the coming weeks and we will let you know as soon as they are added to the enrolment site.

Visit qldwater’s micro-credentials registration site to find out more and enrol in your chosen micro-credential.

Please contact Carlie Sargent on 07 3632 6853 or for more information.

3. Fundamentals Webinars

Thank you to those who attended last week’s Fundamentals Webinar to hear Terry Fagg discuss ‘The Fundamentals of Chlorine Disinfection’. There were more than 60 attendees online with great engagement and too many questions to answer in the time available. A recording of the session is now available on the qldwater website along with additional questions and answers.

Murray Thompson will be back to present our next Fundamentals Webinar on Tuesday 10 November, 10am-11am with the topic ‘Water Hygiene – Working on Water Mains & Services’. Register to attend now!

Registrations are also open for our last Fundamentals Webinar for 2020 on Tuesday 8 December, 10am-11am. Murray Thompson will be discussing ‘Water Main Flushing & Environmental Impacts’. Register now.

We are pleased to announce that the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) have agreed to support our efforts to produce video resources on topics relevant to operators and field staff and they are providing funds to support these webinars on a monthly basis for the next 12-18 months. Thanks to DNRME for the support and we invite you to send through any topic ideas and/or speakers you’d like to feature in the program to

4. Water Industry Mental Health Framework

The Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) has just launched a mental health framework for the water industry. The framework, accompanied by 15 case studies, draws on recent workplace experience during COVID-19 and seeks to drive a step change in mental health awareness and management in the urban water industry.

The mental health framework was developed after consultation with WSAA members, delivery partners, Beyond Blue, key stakeholders and independent oversight from EY.

View the Framework and Case Studies or watch the Launch Video.

5. Free Pre- Excavation Management Course

Dial Before You Dig is offering Pre-Excavation Management Course free of charge* to Queensland Water Service Providers. The course is subsidised by a major asset owner and Construction Skills Queensland.

While safety is clearly at the core of this subject, the costs of damages can be enormous and understanding best practice in planning and preparing for excavation is crucial for all organisations involved in site works. The PEMC provides excellent information and an end to end solution to avoiding striking buried pipes and cables. It is available in a range of delivery formats.

“I believe the Pre-Excavation Management Course should be mandatory for those delegating a team on an excavation site. Prior to attending the course I had a sense of false faith in the safety and accuracy of the utility plans. After completing the training, I have a much more cautious approach as plans can be inaccurate and may not include all services. I recommend this course 10/10 for safety. There are people’s lives at risk.” (Ipswich City Council – Infrastructure and Environment Department)

For more information, visit or contact qldwater will look at convening a specific online session for water service providers if there is interest – please contact if you are keen.

* Unless you want it on-site, where you have to find a room and pay for morning tea…

6. 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:

Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements

As part of its economic stimulus response, the Federal Government has announced additional employer incentives for recruiting new trainees and apprentices. The Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program provides subsidies of 50% of wages up to $7,000 per quarter per trainee. qldwater has confirmed that the subsidy also applies to traineeships, and local councils are eligible for the funding, subject to any of the other eligibility requirements. The program is capped at 100,000 new apprentices/trainees across Australia. More information is available at: or speak with your Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider.

Unused Qualifications/Units of Competency

Each year, the Australian Industry Skills Committee reviews data on qualification usage and enrolments. In cases where there are no or low enrolments, training package components can be marked for deletion. Because the revised Diploma of Water Industry Operations was approved almost two years ago but enrolments have been very low, a number of new Diploma units have been marked for deletion. qldwater has advocated to DESBT as our State Training Authority that this can’t occur and the Water IRC will also advocate for the units to be kept.

Review of Labour Market Information Portal

The Federal Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) is currently undertaking a review of the Labour Market Information Portal (LMIP) website in order to better meet user needs. The LMIP brings together data from a range of official sources including the ABS, DESE and the National Skills Commission to provide local labour market data and insights. A short survey is available to capture your views:

New Queensland Certificate of Education system

Senior secondary schooling in Queensland has changed. Year 12 students in 2020 are the first to graduate under the new Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) system and have commenced their external assessments this week. Under the new system eligible students will receive an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) instead of an Overall Position (OP). In Queensland, the ATAR recognises a broader range of learning, including the significant role Vocational Education and Training (VET) plays in senior studies. We wish graduating students all the best as they undertake their exams over the coming weeks and hope some of them will join us for a career in the water industry. For more information, go to

7. Upcoming Events

Tuesday 10 November, 10am-11am – Fundamentals Webinar, ‘Water Hygiene – Working on Water Mains & Services’. Register now.

Tuesday 8 December, 10am-11am – Fundamentals Webinar, ‘Water Main Flushing & Environmental Impacts’. Register now.

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