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Updated training for water industry professionals

The Australian Government has introduced a framework for engaging industry in the development of training packages, to ensure training reflects existing and future skills needs. Here’s what’s happening in the water industry.

The Training Package Operational Framework consists of three key entities: the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC), Industry Reference Committees (IRCs), and Skills Service Organisations (SSOs).

The IRCs and the AISC partner to provide a vital forum for industry engagement, which drives the review and development of training packages. The IRCs act as conduits providing intelligence and feedback to the AISC on industry trends, as well as current and emerging skills.  

Debra Henderson, learning and development manager at City West Water, is the Australian Water Association’s representative on the Water IRC.

The Water IRC recently completed and published the revised Diploma of Water Industry Operations to include 20 new and 16 revised units of competency. These reflect changes in job roles and operational requirements, including the incorporation of new technologies.

The Diploma is widely used in the Water Industry Worker training program and forms part of an established career path for operators, who can gain a broad range of skills to apply at higher managerial/supervisory levels.

Water IRC Chair John Harris said the updated Diploma was a result of feedback and collaboration.

“The IRC appreciates the feedback from stakeholders and the valuable contributions made by organisations who provided subject matter experts for this project,” he said.

“It was a collaborative approach that produced a quality product for the future training needs of the industry.”

Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) can now apply to the Australian Skills Quality Authority to have the updated qualification added to their scope of registration. RTOs that already deliver this qualification will have 24 months from the date of endorsement to transition to the updated qualification.

The approved National Water Training Package 2.0 is now available here.

Further updates

A Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has been established to review the Certificate II and Certificate III in Water Industry Operations, and the Certificate III in Water Industry Treatment.

The meetings to date have produced constructive suggestions on how to modernise these qualifications to meet the changing demands of the industry.

The Water IRC has also been working on the 2019 Skills Forecasts and Proposed Schedules of Work, which it finalised in late February.

Water industry professionals have the opportunity to review the draft Skills Forecasts and provide feedback by 8 April 2019.

Once all feedback has been reviewed, the Water IRC will submit the final version to the Australian Industry Skills Committee on 30 April.