The Australian Water Association has broadened its role in the delivery of water industry training at the national level. The looming skills deficit with fewer graduates entering the water sector and older workers moving on to retirement has been the principal driver for this move. Therefore, the Australian Water Association has been developing professional training opportunities for industry participants, as well as mentoring programs.
To date, our national training has been directed at updating members on industry policy and regulatory issues (via seminars and technical meetings) introducing research and new technologies for improving treatment plant operations (via master classes and workshops), and offering online training programs for regional members and those seeking to learn in their own time.
Through partnerships with other training providers, those new to the industry have been able to gain an overview of the sector while those seeking to identify the new big initiative, have gained through programs provided by academic partners. This aspect of the Australian Water Association's training is under further development and the website will be updated when the new arrangements are in place.
Mentoring is also an important part of your professional development. At the instigation of the Young Water Professionals (YWP), the Australian Water Association has launched mentoring programs in a number of states over the last few years, and currently more than 450 people are involved.
The Australian Water Association is looking to expand and improve the program and encourages both young water professionals and established practitioners to get involved.