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AWA in consultation with the Young Water Professional Network has developed a package of Mentoring Program documents, most of which pertain to the organisation of YWP Mentoring events. However the Mentoring Best Practice Guide is available and applicable to anyone managing or participating in a Mentoring Program.
The Australian water industry is facing a significant skills challenge requiring both recruitment and retention strategies. The water industry would encounter serious workforce loss in the medium to long term future unless there was an explicit attempt to transfer tacit knowledge and consequently retain skills and knowledge within the industry. Mentoring programs are an effective way to develop skills via the transfer of knowledge from experienced to less-experienced personnel.
The Water Industry Skills Forum was held in March 2008 and one of the priority actions to arise from this meeting was to: “Leverage the experience and corporate knowledge held by retiring professionals by ensuring a Mentoring Program is responsive to the particular needs of the industry”. The Young Water Professional (YWP) network’s National Representative Committee (NRC) in conjunction with AWA’s Board of Directors identified the provision of a national water industry mentoring program as a worthwhile endeavour for water industry capacity development, as well as being an attraction to the water industry.
The Australian Water Association (AWA) has been heavily involved in developing and working with the industry to assist with skills solutions for the water sector. AWA manages the Water Industry Capacity Development (WICD) Network, the Water Industry Skills Taskforce, chaired by AWA’s Chief Executive Tom Mollenkopf, which were established in 2006 and 2008 respectively as well as producing the National Water Skills Strategy Business Plan. In addition to workforce programs and networks experience, AWA has Australia’s largest network of water industry professionals including utilities, consultants, researchers, contractors, suppliers, engineering firms and government departments. These connections enable AWA to garner support and participation by potential mentors and mentees across a range of organisation types and locations.
Stay tuned for further development of the Mentoring Program in 2011.
Download Mentoring Best Practice Guide