Water Graduate Training Program
| Marty Hancock
Viridis Consultants has identified the need to create an industry training program to develop the skills of early-experienced water engineering and science graduates.
Management of Australian water systems is becoming increasingly complex with seasoned professionals needing a multi-layered hierarchy of skills and experience to support the growing needs of the sector.
Graduates are emerging from higher education providers with a toolkit of strong general background skills and knowledge, but the water sector requires a high degree of specialised expertise only obtained in the field.
Embracing this talent straight out of university is the best time to develop the water experts of the future. Degrees by nature need to be reasonably generic so grads exit with the best foundational skills for any industry; they might do a unit or two about water, but there is much to learn that can only be derived from being in the field.
Graduates wanting to make it in the water industry need to have the ability to learn quickly, and develop a strong background in the specifics of water and wastewater, storm and recycled water, and the treatment processes and regulation which vary from state to state.
Viridis has created a customised full time two-year water quality specialisation program designed to train emerging talent and connect them directly on an industry association level with organisations like the AWA and Young Professionals Network.
This program specifically addresses: a) the knowledge and skills required to become a water quality consultant, b) a range of technical skills spanning data analysis and understanding water treatment processes and quality measurements, and c) ways to obtain the skills needed to address governing regulation.
The program has been designed for engineering and science graduates and incorporates a hybrid approach to learning spanning mentorship, embracing the grad to act as a key assistant to senior consultants on client projects, providing tailored internal and external training including through conferences, workshops and webinars.
Tools and technical training steered towards professional development will ensure that upon completion of the program, graduates will be set up to develop a flourishing career in the Australian water industry, with skills transferrable to the international market.
The team of senior consultants within Viridis collaborated to identify the skills and training that would be required in shaping an emerging water expert and then attributed each area of interest to an allocated time to achieve it within.