Skills eFlash #98

Skills eFlash #98

Skills eFlash #98
Date: 21-Jun-2021

In this edition: Congratulations to our Award Winning Operators!| Funding Boost for Employing Trainees| Enroll Now in Water Industry Micro-Credential Workshops| Fundamentals Webinar Next Week| Water Industry Outlook 2021| Digital Transformation Skills Strategy| Skills Advocacy| Upcoming Events

1. Congratulations to our Award Winning Operators!

Congratulations to the winners of qldwater’s 2021 Operator Awards, announced at the recent WIOA Queensland Conference in Toowoomba. The awards recognise the outstanding operational performance of Queensland water industry employees.

The Young Operator of the Year for 2021 is Shannon Thomas, an Assistant Treatment Plant Operator at Unitywater and the Operator of the Year (Civil/All-Rounder) is Shane Bambrick, Field Technical Lead at Urban Utilities. Both are very deserving winners and are recognised by their peers for their leadership and innovation in their respective roles. Read more about our award-winning operators.

The annual WIOA awards program also recognised Shane Bandiera from Cassowary Coast Regional Council as the AWA Leon Henry Memorial Award - Queensland Operator of the Year along with a number of Best Paper Award winners. See all of the WIOA Award winners.

Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to all nominees for their contribution to the water industry.

2. Funding Boost for Employing Trainees

The recent 2021-22 State Budget committed more than $1 billion to boost skilling and training in Queensland.

Whilst full details of all programs are not yet known, one of the programs is targeted at increasing the number of trainees employed by local councils. The First Start Program is one of eight programs that make up the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative. The program aims to provide young people and disadvantaged job seekers with opportunities to gain a nationally recognised qualification and 12 months paid employment by undertaking a subsidised traineeship with a local council or a community-based organisation. In 2021–22, $6 million will be available for local councils across Queensland to create 400 new traineeships. First Start provides a wage subsidy of up to $15,000 per trainee for 12 months of employment.

We will advise when more information is available. In the meantime, read more about the skills investment budget announcements.

3. Enroll Now in Water Industry Micro-Credential Workshops

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

The entry-level workshops will be delivered via a virtual training platform either over two full days or four half 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 completed before the end of 2021 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 Webinar Next Week

It’s your last chance to register for next week’s Fundamentals Webinar, a ‘Guide to Ct Measurement and Application’ being presented by Murray Thompson at 10am on Tuesday 22 June. Register online now!

Registrations are also open for our July webinar, with Murray Thompson presenting ‘RF Exposure & Safety Working on Reservoirs’ on Tuesday 27 July at 10am.

Recordings of all previous webinars, including ‘Jar Testing’ and ‘Working with Chemicals and Hazardous Substances’ are available to download on the qldwater website. Please contact with any queries about previous or future webinars or to discuss sponsorship opportunities.

5. Water Industry Outlook 2021

The Water Industry Reference Committee has just released its 2021 Water Industry Outlook. The outlook reports key water industry trends and new and emerging skills needs as well as the proposed changes to the National Water Training Package to address these workforce needs. The outlook is developed via a research and stakeholder consultation process conducted by Australian Industry Standards on behalf of the Water IRC.

6. Digital Transformation Skills Strategy

Digital Transformation Skills Strategy which sets out what Australia’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) system needs to do to support our nation’s workforce through the impact of digital change underway across industry. 

Developed by the Digital Transformation Expert Panel, its guiding principle is to ‘leave no worker behind’. AIS is proud to have supported the Panel in this work since its establishment in late 2019. 

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:

Skills Reform

As reported in previous Skills e-Flashes, qldwater has provided a number of submissions and participated in consultation on key reforms to improve the VET system, including quality of the VET workforce, improving the quality of training and the role of industry engagement in VET. You can view our submissions on the qldwater website. The Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) has released some summary findings and outcomes from the first phase of consultation. Here are some of the key findings:

  • There needs to be a new model for industry engagement in the VET system to move beyond just training package development;
  • Industry needs to be a driver in recognising workplace needs, growth areas and pathways;
  • There is a need for more cross-sector collaboration in relation to training package development;
  • There needs to be more diverse representation in the development of training packages;
  • Training packages need to be more responsive to industry needs; and
  • Training package approval could be streamlined and improved to ensure training products are fit-for-purpose.

The Department will be publishing articles, fact sheets and other materials with findings from other recent engagement activities on the Skills Reform website.

8. Upcoming Events

  • Fundamentals Webinar ‘Guide to Ct Measurement and Application’ presented by Murray Thompson, 10am-11am, Tuesday 22 June - Register Now!
  • Fundamentals Webinar ‘RF Exposure & Safety Working on Reservoirs’ presented by Murray Thompson, 10am-11am, Tuesday 27 July – Register Now!
  • Foundation Skills Micro-Credentials, self-paced, online workshops and face to face workshops available. Enrol Now!
  • Charters Towers Regional Conference, 21-22 July 2021 – Register Now!
  • Annual Forum, 7-9 September 2021 - Details Coming Soon!

For more upcoming events, visit:

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