Changes to the Water Industry Skills Taskforce (WIST)

Changes to the Water Industry Skills Taskforce (WIST)

The Water Industry Skills Taskforce (WIST) has recently appointed the Queensland Water Directorate (qldwater) as secretariat for the taskforce for an initial period of 12 months with Dave Cameron, CEO of qldwater, elected Chair.
Changes to the Water Industry Skills Taskforce (WIST)

This follows after the Australian Water Association (AWA) indicated earlier this year that it was no longer in a position to maintain its long standing support for WIST. AWA has led WIST activities since the taskforce was established in 2008 and continued to manage it after its projected 5-year life cycle ended in 2013. WIST’s primary role is to promote and oversee a nationally-coordinated effort to address the skills shortage in the water sector.

“AWA is to be commended for its leadership in championing the national water skills agenda and its ongoing role in leading WIST,” said Mark Pascoe, CEO of the International WaterCentre, who is also a member of the taskforce.

It is now time to continue the taskforce in a modified form and with a renewed focus on facilitating collaboration in the water industry to enable access to quality education and training, which is something that also lies at the very heart of what the International WaterCentre does,” he said.

Historically, WIST – through AWA – has overseen a number of key initiatives, including focussing on careers marketing, industry mentoring, industry secondments and water treatment operator certification.

Going forward WIST will have a specific focus on improved skills outcomes for vocational education and training and professional fields, not specific occupations or qualifications.

The priorities for WIST in the short-term include:

  • representations to the federal Department of Education and Training to ensure WIST is recognised as the key body representing the water sector under the New Arrangements for Training Product Development for Australian Industry
  • development of a general advocacy platform to work with government
  • finalisation of the “Operators within Drinking Water Systems Certification Framework” and lobbying for its adoption
  • acting as a champion for the water industry and host for Government Skills Australia’s resources and initiatives.

For more information on WIST, contact Dave Cameron (WIST Chair) at or call 0407 761 991.

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