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  • James Howey

Opportunities and Funding for Regional Operator Training

With the current public health crisis contributing to skilled staff shortages and the water industry forecast to need at least 10,000 jobs in the next 5 years, this is an opportunity for upskilling your current workforce or retraining newcomers ready for a career in the industry.

Regional operators currently working in the industry can benefit from the Certificate II, III and IV courses offered in distance mode through QLD TAFE SkillsTech, with practical components completed in the workplace. (Since publishing Skills Tech no longer offer this service)

Quite often for operators, there is provision of Recognition of Prior Learning, which can shorten the duration, and potentially the cost, of the course.

Courses are often subsidised under State funding schemes like the QLD Higher Level Skills (HLS) program or Certificate III Guarantee Scheme, making these more attractive to eligible employees wanting to take advantage of these programs. These subsidies can mean a significant cost saving.

The Water Industry Operators Association (WIOA) have a nationwide listing of training providers and courses for operator training that offer a wide range of options for training in most states.

At the completion of the recognised training, individuals can apply for WIOA Certification. Employers can be confident in the work of employees, knowing that staff members who are certified have the skills for the occupation and are committed to excellence in their role.

While the majority of training for newcomers to the industry is done face to face at Registered Training Organisations (RTO), it is worth contacting your local RTO to see which units can be undertaken remotely or via workplace training.

In the end, upskilling is essential for the successful and safe progression of our industry, and now is the perfect time to take advantage of the funding and training options being made available.

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