Skills eFlash #93

Skills eFlash #93

Skills eFlash #93
Date: 14-Dec-2020

In this edition: Water Industry Worker Regional Pilot Awarded!| Water Skills Forum 2021| New Micro-Credential Course Options Available| Fundamentals Webinar Reminder| Federal Government Employment Incentives| Skills Advocacy| Upcoming Events

1. Water Industry Worker Regional Pilot Awarded!

Congratulations to the Regional Water Industry Worker Pilot Program that was recently awarded the Organisational Excellence Award by AWA Queensland! 

This is great recognition for the collaborative efforts of the Mackay, Whitsunday, Townsville, Cairns and Burdekin Regional Councils in delivering a pilot of the program to 30 staff from across the region. Congratulations to everyone involved in the pilot and the many experts who have contributed to the success of the program from its inception in SEQ more than ten years ago.

We look forward to seeing this competency-based training program for field maintenance and construction staff roll-out in other regions.

2. Water Skills Forum 2021

The Water Skills Forum on 4 March 2021 is shaping up to be another fantastic event, with most presentations already finalised to address the key themes of workforce and succession planning, leadership and future training needs. The draft program will be released shortly and includes the following presentations along with many more:

  • a panel discussion to consider a whole of industry response to the operator skills shortage;
  • collaborative opportunities for workforce with the next generation of the water workforce;
  • organisational efforts to manage wellbeing in response to COVID-19; and
  • evolving organisational competency training programs.

Water Skills Partners receive three free registrations (in person/virtual) to participate in the Forum, with registration also available for $50 plus GST for qldwater members who are not Water Skills Partners and $100 plus GST for non-members. Registration will be available soon, please contact Carlie Sargent on 07 3632 6853 if you have any questions in the meantime.

3. New Micro-Credential Course Options Available

Additional course options for the Water Industry Foundation Skills Micro-Credentials are now open for enrolments.

Simmonds and Bristow are offering a range of delivery options for the water treatment, wastewater treatment and network operations courses. Participants can choose from self-paced learning, virtual training or two day workshops. Minimum numbers apply for virtual training and face to face workshops and qldwater can provide more details and assist with arrangements for establishing training cohorts.

Following requests from a number of members, the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training has approved the addition of a SCADA/Remote Monitoring Micro-Credential. More details about this option will be provided early in 2021.

Visit qldwater’s micro-credentials registration site to find out more and enrol in your chosen micro-credential or contact Carlie Sargent on 07 3632 6853 or for more information.

4. Fundamentals Webinars

Thank you to those who have participated in our Fundamentals Webinars during 2020. We are pleased to have been able to deliver practical demonstrations of a number of key operational tasks, thanks to the expertise of our presenters, Terry Fagg and Murray Thompson.

We have webinars scheduled for the first six months of 2021, with Murray Thompson presenting on ‘Backflow/Cross Connection Awareness & Control’ on Tuesday 19 January from 10am-11am. Register now!

We will be delivering Fundamentals Webinars via MS Teams in the new year, which has meant a slight change to the registration process. You will receive confirmation at the time of your registration, with details for accessing the webinar emailed to you a few days prior to the event. The webinars are free for employees of qldwater members and Water Skills Partners, non-members may now participate in the Fundamentals webinars for a cost of $50 plus GST, payable on registration.

Recordings of all previous webinars are available for members to access via the qldwater website.

5. Federal Government Employment Incentives

The Australian Government has released a range of new initiatives and incentives to help organisations hire new staff, at no cost to employers. There are incentives of up to $10,000 assist with the costs of hiring and on-boarding a new employee as well as other initiatives to support the employment of trainees.

A number of councils have had success employing trainees through the Youth Jobs PaTH program which provides support for trialling a young person before they are hired. There are further subsidies available if the trainee is then employed permanently.

The City of Gold Coast has used the program and shared their case study.

For more information, contact Sandee Harris, Employer Liaison Officer, Department of Education, Skills and Employment on 0481 917 154 or for help in designing a pathway to suit your needs.

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:

Queensland Government Ministerial and Directors General Appointments

With the recent announcement of the Queensland Government’s Cabinet line-up, there have been a couple of changes in the skilling and training space. The Hon. Di Farmer MP is the new Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development. Warwick Agnew has been appointed as the Director-General of the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training.

As part of qldwater’s broader advocacy program, we will be writing to the new Minister to introduce qldwater and the work of the Water Skills Partnership and stress the importance of continued investment in and support for skilling and training for the water industry in Queensland. The State Budget announced last week included an investment of more than $1 billion for training and skills initiatives and we will communicate more information about the various initiatives as they are released.

7. Upcoming Events

Tuesday 19 January, 10am-11am – Fundamentals Webinar, Backflow/Cross Connection Awareness & Control’, presented by Murray Thompson. Register now!

Tuesday 23 February, 10am-11am – Fundamentals Webinar, ‘Working with Chemicals & Hazardous Substances’ presented by Murray Thompson.

Thursday 4 March, Water Skills Forum, 9am-5pm. Registrations opening soon!

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