Skills eFlash #95

Skills eFlash #95

Skills eFlash #95
Date: 02-Mar-2021

In this edition: Last Chance to Register for the Water Skills Forum!| March Fundamentals Webinars| Operator Awards Open for Nominations| Queensland Training Awards| Skills Advocacy| Upcoming Events

1. Last Chance to Register for the Water Skills Forum!

Registrations close on Monday at 12pm to attend the 2021 Water Skills Forum to be held next Thursday, 4 March. Register before it’s too late!

We invite you to join us and 60 other delegates in person at our training rooms in Eagle Form, or link into the forum virtually. We’ll be hearing from Jobs Queensland about how we can attract the workforce of the future; what utilities are doing to transition their experienced staff into retirement and share knowledge with trainees; innovation in delivering competency training programs; how water business leaders can drive change within their teams; a case study of a Victorian water utility’s wellbeing program for employees; future tools to support remote mentoring and training and importantly; explore opportunities to collaborate with NSW for industry skilling and training and we’ll be putting all options on the table to address the operator skilling crisis. We hope you’ll be part of the conversations!

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. View the registration options.

Thank you to TAFE Queensland – SkillsTech for sponsoring the forum once again and welcome to our new forum sponsor, Trility. Thank you also to Diona, who will be sponsoring the networking drinks at the close of the forum.

We hope to see you next week! Please contact Carlie Sargent on 07 3632 6853 or if you have any queries about the forum.

2. March Fundamentals Webinars

We are pleased to bring you two Fundamentals Webinars next month.

Register now to hear Terry Fagg, Water Treatment Principal, Western Downs Regional Council discuss ‘Pumping Fundamentals at 10am on Thursday 11 March and then on Tuesday 23 March, Murray Thompson will present ‘The Fundamentals of Electrical Safety - Working on Metallic Pipes’.

Fundamentals 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. Register now!

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

3. Operator Awards Open for Nominations

Nominations are now open for qldwater’s Young Operator of the Year and Operator of the Year (Civil/All-Rounder) Awards, offered in conjunction with the Water Industry Operators Association of Australia (WIOA). The awards recognise the outstanding performance of operational employees of either qldwater full members or Water Skills Partnership member organisations and are a great way to reward your operators for the work they do for their community. Read about our 2020 Award Winners.

Nominees for the Young Operator of the Year Award must be under the age of 35 years and be responsible for operating community water and wastewater treatment plants or industrial water or wastewater plants, operation and maintenance or construction of water and wastewater reticulation networks etc. They must have been employed in their role for four years or less. Previous winners of this award have received a paid trip to participate in the WIOA Utilities Tour of New Zealand, but due to ongoing COVID-19 travel restrictions, an alternative tour within Australia is currently being negotiated for 2021 winners. Prizes from previous years that would have typically involved travel/conferences have been preserved to be taken up when it’s easier to do such things. WIOA is currently looking into opportunities for past winners to attend events like Ozwater in Adelaide this year.

Nominees for the Operator of the Year (Civil/All-Rounder) must be responsible for the operation and maintenance or construction of water and wastewater reticulation networks. The winner receives a $1500 voucher to put towards professional development.

Nominations are due by Friday 23 April 2021 to Winners will be announced at the Queensland WIOA Annual Conference Awards Dinner on Thursday 3 June in Toowoomba.

Full details about the nomination process along with nomination forms are available on our website.

4. Queensland Training Awards

Nominations for the 2021 Queensland Training Awards are open now and we encourage you to consider recognising an individual or organisation for success, best practice and innovation in vocational education and training (VET). Nominations close 21 March 2021.

There are a range of categories for apprentices, trainees, vocational students, teachers and trainers, as well as training providers and employers. Nominees in the individual and employer categories first compete at a regional level, with regional winners then contesting their category at the state level. More information about the awards is available at:

In 2020, Shannon McNamara from Seqwater was the South East Regional Winner of the Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year Award and the North Queensland Water Industry Worker Program was a finalist in the Premier’s Industry Collaboration category. Both of these nominations provided a fantastic opportunity to recognise the value of water industry careers and the contribution that the industry makes to Queensland communities. 

5. 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:

Future Water Industry Training Needs Submission

Following consultation with Water Skills Partners, qldwater has submitted a business case to the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training with recommendations for future VET investment to meet the training needs of the water industry. The business case confirms that the Certificate III in Water Industry Operations continues to be the primary qualification for operational staff and acknowledges the generous funding of this qualification by the Department and recommends that this continue. The submission proposes an increase to the subsidy levels for the Certificate IV and Diploma of Water Industry Operations following feedback from Skills Partners that there is a significant gap between the existing subsidy and fees charged for delivery and with tight training budgets, this is a barrier to enrolments. We have also provided some options to find a mechanism for supporting upskilling in key gap areas through competency clusters or skill sets. Read the submission here.

Skills Reform Consultation

Following several reviews over the past 18 months, Federal and State Governments are progressing a number of key reforms to improve the VET system. There have been a number of requests for consultation in recent weeks and qldwater has represented Queensland water service providers at online workshops and provided submissions on a range of issues relating to the VET system, including quality of the VET workforce, improving the quality of training and the role of industry engagement in VET. More information about the review process and consultation opportunities is available at: There is expected to a be a new National Skills Agreement developed by August 2021.

6. Upcoming Events

  • Thursday 4 March, Queensland Water Skills Forum, 9am-5pm. Register Now!
  • WIOA Queensland Charity Bowls Day, Yandina, Friday 5 March 2021. For more information and to register visit:
  • Thursday 11 March, 10am-11am – Fundamentals Webinar, ‘Pumping Fundamentals’ presented by Terry Fagg. Register Now!
  • Tuesday 23 March, 10am-11am – Fundamentals Webinar, ‘The Fundamentals of Electrical Safety - Working on Metallic Pipes’ presented by Murray Thompson. Register Now!
  • Foundation Skills Micro-Credentials, self-paced, online workshops and face to face workshops available. Enrol Now!

For more upcoming events, visit:

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