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Design for career progression

Once inside the industry, career progression and pathways appear to be masked to employees, with recent starters unable to see beyond two years within their chosen career. There seem to be mixed interpretations of the competency frameworks and the diversity of roles and opportunities available inside the industry. There is a positive perception inside the industry that a new level of collaboration is required for successful workforce growth.


Create flexible, consistent pathways:

Heighten workforce attraction by creating consistent competency journeys that make employees feel valued and that their career is on a purposeful and unbounded trajectory. Make information about existing pathways accessible to everyone by designing concise, industry-wide communication on the breadth of existing sector roles and competency frameworks, then refine and extend competencies across all roles – from trainee to specialist, management and executive roles – in a way that delivers on the authorisations that will be required under the Water Services Act. Encompass technical and non-technical skills, as well as knowledge of Te Mana o Te Wai, and provide targeted career progression for engineers through industry-sponsored initiatives that allow them to further develop their body of knowledge. 

Develop leadership and mentorship programmes:

Mentorship activities that link leading water professionals with students and trainees could benefit from further refinement and expansion across the sector. Youth outside of industry are looking for hands-on mentorships that circumvent the current trends in digital training and communication which are seen in other industries and education models. As new roles and employees emerge across the industry, there will be a need to grow the leadership potential of those already involved within the sector. Existing employees will need to be able to share their tacit knowledge and ultimately help lead others to competency. Industry trainers speak of the need to identify leadership prospects early and provide them with pathways and support to develop this potential.

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