State and National Initiatives
Current national projects
A National Water Skills Strategy designed to address skills gaps was endorsed by COAG in 2009. This Strategy outlines specific items to be undertaken which will enable better utilisation of existing Government programs to assist the water sector in bridging projected skills gaps. AWA developed a Business Plan to operationalise the National Water Skills Strategy. The Business Plan outlines the framework for implementation (i.e. governance, funding, timetables etc) and includes details on specific actions to be undertaken.
Water Services Association Australia Workforce Development Project
The Water Services Association of Australia has started a new Water Industry Workforce Development project with financial support from DEEWR. The project consists of five stages including developing a water industry occupational and competency framework, making a submission to support the amendment of the ANZCO Codes to better represent the water industry, the expansion of the water trainer and assessor network and the collection and dissemination of industry workforce development data, then sharing this information with industry.
WSAA has assembled a steering committee including qldwater to ensure national industry needs are reflected in the planning and ongoing outcomes of the project. The first meeting of the Steering Committee took place on the 19th June. The first order of business was to decide on the key Water Industry roles that will form the basis of the Occupation and Competency Framework and inform an ANZSCO Code review.
National Framework for Certification of Water Treatment Operators
The National Water Commission (NWC) has funded a project to develop a national competencies framework for certifying potable water treatment operators. The project is being conducted by Government Skills Australia (GSA).
The objective of the “National Certification Framework for Operators of Potable Water Treatment Plants” project is to recognise public expectation for this role to be carried out by a suitably qualified person. The challenge is to ensure the framework is flexible enough to meet all industry needs.
The first round of consultations took place with workshops held around the country. The workshops were attended by 158 people with 107 water organisations represented.
A draft framework is now available on the GSA website. Second round consultation workshops are taking place over January and February. This will provide industry with an opportunity to provide further comment.
To attend a workshop or comment on the framework visit the GSA website
Key State Organisations
Skills Queensland is a statutory authority established in 2011 with a focus on aligning Queensland's skills system with the needs of employers, individuals, industry and the community, to alleviate skilll shortages and better position Queensland to address future skills needs. It is responsible for administering a number of programs including Skills Formation Strategies.
The Queensland Department of Education and Training is the State Department responsible for managing education and training including schools and public registered training organisations. DET administers a large number of programs including traineeships (for example User Choice) of relevance to the water industry.
DEWS is the key regulator for the urban water industry in Queensland (along with Queensland Health). It is a signatory to a Memorandum of Agreement with the Local Government Association of Queensland and Queensland Water Directorate which has strategies to address skilling issues for the industry as a key program.