Shoalhaven Water wins NSW Training Award

Shoalhaven Water’s commitment to providing skills and employment opportunities to the region was honoured at the 2017 NSW Training Award in Sydney last night where the organisation was presented with the prestigious Large Employer of the Year Award in recognition of its long running Traineeship Program.

In order to meet the challenges of an ageing workforce combined with a declining skills base, Shoalhaven Water partnered with group training organisation HVTC Shoalhaven to initiate a large scale Certificate II in Water Operations Traineeship Program at the beginning of 2009.

The Program was specifically designed to provide the organisation with a current and future pool of trained, competent, skilled and talented people readily able to undertake a role within Shoalhaven Water and at the same time minimise the effects of the ageing workforce.

Importantly, the Traineeship Program also provides employment opportunities for the region’s youth. The value of the Program to the organisation and the Shoalhaven region has been demonstrated with a number of the trainees progressing to permanent full time roles.

HVTC CEO Sharon Smith said 70% of Shoalhaven Water Operations trainees who have completed their traineeship have continued on to permanent full time employment.

“In addition, a number of the first group of trainees have progressed to Operator in Charge roles and are now responsible for the operation of Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants or crews of employees undertaking maintenance,” Mrs Smith said.

Shoalhaven Water currently hosts a total of 23 apprentice and trainee positions across Water Operations, Business Administration, Electrical, Mechanical, and Electronics and Communications.

The NSW Training Awards judging panel recognised the high quality of training the organisation provides and its proactive approach to identifying and fostering young local talent by working closely with HVTC Shoalhaven.

Shoalhaven Water Director, Carmel Krogh said the relationship with HVTC has been strong and productive and built up over a number of years of mutual respect and support.

“This relationship has enabled us to reach a new maturity in our workforce planning and also move our culture to one of positive learning and succession. A highlight of our training program has been enabling our older workers to pass on their skills and knowledge to the younger generation,” said Ms Krogh.

Rick Murphy Carmel Krogh and Debbie Jones 

Rick Murphy (Shoalhaven Water Resources & Planning Coordinator), Carmel Krogh (Shoalhaven Water Director) & Debbie Jones (HVTC Shoalhaven Field Officer)