Skills eFlash #97

Skills eFlash #97

Skills eFlash #97
Date: 15-May-2021

In this edition: Celebrating the Water Skills Partnership| WIOA Conference and Mains Tapping Competition| Seeking EOIs for Water Industry Micro-Credentials| Fundamentals Webinars| Workforce Planning Webinars| Boost for Skilling and Training| Skills Advocacy| Upcoming Events

1. Celebrating the Water Skills Partnership 

qldwater is pleased to announce that the Water Skills Partnership has been shortlisted for the Premier's Industry Collaboration Queensland Training Award! The nomination celebrates ten years of the Partnership’s operation and its successful collaboration to ensure water industry staff have access to essential training and skilling to deliver safe, secure and sustainable urban water and sewerage services to Queensland communities.

The award nomination highlights the many initiatives developed to support Queensland water industry skilling and workforce development and is recognition of the ongoing efforts and participation of so many industry representatives. You all know who you are!

The winner will be announced at a State Gala event in September 2021. More information about the Queensland Training Awards is available at:, and of course, we’ll keep you posted as our nomination progresses!

2. WIOA Conference and Mains Tapping Competition

After a forced break in 2020, the Mains Tapping Competition is back and will be held as part of the WIOA Queensland Conference in Toowoomba on 2-3 June. A couple of teams have already nominated but we need a few more to give the title holders, City of Gold Coast, lots of strong competition. If you have a team of two Water Industry Workers who would like to compete in this long-running competition, please contact Craig Mathison on 0457 846 008 or

qldwater is likely to be live-streaming the competition so you can cheer your favourite teams on. The event times are:

2/6/21 – 10:20am

3/6/21 – 10:10am

but we’ll provide more information as it becomes available as it all depends on teams.

We’re looking forward to catching up with operators and delegates at the event and encourage you to attend if you can. A full program and registration information is available at:

The program is full of excellent technical and keynote presentations and the trade exhibition will have more than 75 exhibitors showcasing the very latest industry products and technologies.

There are plenty of networking opportunities including the Awards Dinner where winners of the qldwater awards for Young Operator and Operator of the Year (Civil/All-Rounder) will be announced and we look forward to cheering on Livingstone Regional Council in the battle for the Ixom Water of Origin Taste Test against NSW.

We hope you can join us for what will be a great few days. Register now at:

3. Seeking EOIs for Water Industry Micro-Credentials

The first Queensland Water Industry Foundation Skills Virtual Workshops will kick off in June and we are now seeking expressions of interest to participate in future workshops in July/August.

The entry-level workshops will be delivered via a virtual training platform over two days and are part of a pilot program supported by the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, delivered by qldwater in conjunction with Registered Training Organisations. The Department is subsidising the delivery cost of all courses by 50% with the costs to participants ranging from $300 to $700, depending on the chosen delivery method.

Course options include:

  • Water Treatment
  • Wastewater Treatment
  • Network Operations

The courses can also be undertaken by remote/self-paced learning and in-house workshops. More information is available on qldwater’smicro-credentials site and you can choose to register directly via that site, or contact Carlie Sargent on 07 3632 6853 to discuss your options.

4. Fundamentals Webinars

Register now for our upcoming Fundamentals Webinars! These sessions provide practical demonstrations of the most common water and wastewater treatment and network operations tasks, presented by industry experts and are supported by the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water (RDMW) through the Queensland Water Regional Alliance Program (QWRAP).

The following webinars are open for registration:

  • ‘Disinfection of Water Assets’ presented by Murray Thompson, 10am-11am, Tuesday 25 May
  • ‘Jar Testing’ presented by Terry Fagg, 10am-11am, Thursday 10 June
  • ‘Guide to Ct Measurement and Application’ presented by Murray Thompson, 10am-11am, Tuesday 22 June

Fundamentals webinars are free for employees of qldwater members and Water Skills Partners, non-members can participate for a cost of $50 plus GST. Recordings of all previous webinars are available for members to access via the qldwater website. Sponsorship opportunities are available to showcase your organisation or products to current and future Treatment Operators and Water Industry Workers. Contact Carlie Sargent on 3632 6853 to discuss.

Register now!

5. Workforce Planning Webinars

As part of Queensland Small Business Month, Jobs Queensland is hosting webinars to provide an introduction to workforce planning. The webinars are targeted at small to medium businesses, but the concepts are likely to be relevant for all employers and will provide an overview of Jobs Queensland’s Workforce Planning Connect online toolkit, which aims to support businesses through the workforce planning process.

Webinars will be held at the following times:

  • Monday 17 May – 1.30pm to 2.30pm
  • Tuesday 18 May – 9.00am to 10.00am
  • Tuesday 18 May – 4.00pm to 5.00pm

Find out more and register to attend a webinar at:

6. Boost for Skilling and Training

As many of you will be aware, this week’s Federal Budget committed additional spending for skills and training, and whilst we are waiting for more details about a number of initiatives, we are pleased that there has been further funding committed to incentivise employers to recruit new trainees and apprentices.

The Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program that started in 2020 has been extended and numbers are now uncapped. The program provides subsidies to employers of 50% of wages up to $7,000 per quarter per trainee. More information is available at: or speak with your Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider or contact Carlie Sargent on 07 3632 6853 to discuss further.

There were a number of other skills initiatives announced, including additional support for women commencing traineeships in non-traditional trade roles, the establishment of a new national training register and development of a new industry engagement model for the VET system. qldwater will continue to provide information about these and other opportunities for water industry skilling and training as details become available.

7. 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:

Certificate IV Subsidies

Following advocacy by qldwater, the revised Certificate IV in Water Industry Operations (NWP40120) has now been added to the Queensland Government’s Priority Skills List to provide a subsidy for new enrolments into the qualification as part of the Higher Level Skills program. More information is available at: or speak to your RTO about enrolments and claiming the subsidy.

Queensland VET Investment Review

In our role as an Industry Skills Advisor, qldwater has been asked to provide input to the Queensland Government’s Review of Vocational Education and Training Investment for prioritising skilling and training expenditure. Following feedback gathered at our previous Skills Meeting, qldwater is providing the following recommendations for investment in the coming year:

  • Continue 100% (Priority 1) funding for the Certificate II in Water Industry Operations as the key entry level qualification utilised in many locations
  • Continue 100% (Priority 1) funding for the Certificate III in Water Industry Operations as the most widely utilised qualification and the generally accepted minimum standard for water/wastewater treatment operators
  • Increase the amount of funding available for the Certificate IV in Water Industry Operations to encourage more experienced staff moving into supervisory and middle management roles
  • Increase the amount of funding available for the Diploma in Water Industry Operations to support upskilling for those in management roles
  • Establish and subsidise Competency Clusters as a mechanism to upskill existing qualified Operators and Water Industry Workers

You can read more about our recommendations in our submission on future water industry training needs: and please contact Carlie Sargent if you have any comments about future VET investment needs to support your skilling and training initiatives.

8. Upcoming Events

  • Fundamentals Webinar ‘Disinfection of Water Assets’ presented by Murray Thompson, 10am-11am, Tuesday 25 May - Register Now!
  • Fundamentals Webinar ‘Jar Testing’ presented by Terry Fagg, 10am-11am, Thursday 10 June - Register Now!
  • Fundamentals Webinar ‘Guide to Ct Measurement and Application’ presented by Murray Thompson, 10am-11am, Tuesday 22 June - Register Now!
  • Foundation Skills Micro-Credentials, self-paced, online workshops and face to face workshops available. Enrol Now!
  • WIOA Queensland Conference, Toowoomba, 2-3 June 2021. Register now by contacting WIOA.
  • Barcaldine Regional Conference, 19-20 May 2021 – Registrations Closed
  • Charters Towers Regional Conference, 21-22 July 2021 - Registrations Opening Soon!
  • Annual Forum, 7-9 September 2021 - Details Coming Soon!

For more upcoming events, visit:

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