Seqwater trainee operator supply Taylor Wilson working on site at Scenic Rim
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Eleven new trainees have begun careers in the water industry as part of Seqwater’s traineeship program, creating employment opportunities amidst the pandemic.

With COVID-19 forcing employees and businesses to adapt the way they operate, Seqwater has changed the delivery of its traineeship program, enabling it to continue to foster the next generation of water industry professionals.

Over the past few months, eleven young adults commenced traineeships across a range of positions including water supply operators, dam operators and rangers, via the utility’s Next Generation program.

Seqwater Chief Executive Officer, Neil Brennan, said the trainees had been selected from a pool of more than 300 applicants.

“The Coronavirus has indeed posed a range of new challenges, which have required us to adapt to allow the traineeship program to continue while keeping our staff safe,” Mr Brennan said.

“Orientation activities have had to be conducted via video link and TAFE workshops will likely be done online later in the year. 

“In terms of on-site training, trainees have been working with a single mentor to take them through their daily job responsibilities, with social distancing requirements adhered to at all times.”

Mr Brennan said it was important to continue developing and nurturing the next generation of water industry professionals to make sure South East Queensland remained a leader in the planning, supply, management and delivery of water.

“Our Next Generation graduate, apprentice and trainee programs are essential to securing and developing the necessary human resource capacity to support the growing region,” he said.

“Having a new intake of water workers helps support our field and site-based staff, who are already doing an outstanding job, to keep supplying quality drinking water and maintaining water and catchment assets every day during these challenging times.”

Seqwater aims to employ up to 40 graduates, trainees and apprentices in any given year, which represents about five per cent of its workforce.

Since the Next Generation program was established over 2011-2012, Seqwater has employed 134 graduates, trainees and apprentices.

Among the latest intake of trainees was 23-year-old Taylor Wilson, who said working at Seqwater had been a goal of hers for a while, with the traineeship offering the opportunity to learn from water industry experts and gain valuable hands-on experience.

“Having lived through the Millennium Drought growing up – and as our region continues to deal with dry conditions – I’m proud to be working for an organisation that plays such an important role in ensuring a safe and reliable water supply for South East Queensland,” Ms Wilson said. 

“I’m looking forward to expanding my skills and meeting the challenges of providing water to communities, from large urban centres to rural farmers – no matter what the weather.” 

Since June 2019, Seqwater has employed 25 operation trainees and apprentices in line with its program.

Seqwater’s newest employees will be based in a variety of locations:

North (Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay)

  • Six Operator Supply trainees 
  • Two Electrical Apprentices

Central (Ipswich, Somerset, Lockyer Valley and Brisbane)

  • One Electrical Apprentice
  • One Mechanical Apprentice
  • Five Operator Supply trainees 
  • One trainee Dam Operator 

South (Redlands, Scenic Rim and Gold Coast)

  • Five Operator Supply trainees
  • One trainee Dam Operator/Field Ranger
  • One trainee Ranger
  • One trainee Dam Operator
  • One Electrical Apprentice

More information on future Seqwater employment opportunities can be found here

Feature image: Seqwater trainee Operator Supply, Taylor Wilson, working on site at Beaudesert Water Treatment Plant.

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