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Hands-on Water Challenge will bring O&M staff together

The Wetskills Water Challenge is a proven concept for Young Professionals and students with Bachelor+ background, worldwide organized by the Wetskills Foundation. The topics are based on broader themes and innovations. The teams of talents are challenged to think outside the box. They present during special events, these presentations contain a lot of interaction between generations

Why only for Bachelor(+), why not the operators/artisans/process controllers?

That was the question in South Africa after the first preparation of the fourth Wetskills Water Challenge during WISA 2018. Together with Department of Water & Sanitation, some utilities and the support of the Wetskills Foundation, World Water Academy / AquaDactics initiated a new concept: Hands-on Water Challenge. Staff in charge for Operation & Maintenance (NQF level 3-4) of dams, plants, etc. are challenged to team up with peers from other utilities and departments to think out-of-the-box on new ways of working. Main aim is to get to know each other and to learn with and from each other.

Hands-on Water programme

The preparation of the first Hands-on Water Challenge in South Africa on the WISA Conference 2018 in Cape Town has started. The programme will run from 16 to 28 June 2018 and is abstracted from the Wetskills programme (which will run in the same city and period), but will contain different aims:

  • The focus is on innovations on-the-job
  • The target group are Process Controllers, Artisans and Operators (NQF 3-4) with working experience
  • The participants are from one country (in this case South Africa)
  • The expertise and supervision in the programme is tailored to the working practice
  • The training and field trips are tailored to the target group

The proposed schedule of the 12 days programme is:

  • teambuilding
  • social activities
  • field trips to utilities, dams, reservoirs
  • team announcement
  • meet & greet with experts
  • working on cases
  • trainings (Return of Investments, Communication and presentation skills);
  • Preparations for Finals
  • WISA Conference programme
  • Finals & Awarding.

Announcement for Participants and Call for Cases

The Hands-on Water Challenge partners have the intention to announce the Challenge at the Process Controllers Day in Western Cape, mid of November. We invite South African organizations to join the programme by sending candidate participants and/or formulate one of the cases.

This programme will lead to more integration and communication of O&M staff in South Africa. The best ideas can be taken back to the organization.

For more information: Johan Oost,