Client confidentiality means I can’t publish all the work I’ve done on training strategies and training programmes for the civil construction, food manufacturing, solid waste and utility sectors – but here is one that I am able to share.
I was privileged to work with Water New Zealand, a national not-for-profit sector organisation with around 1500 corporate and individual members here and overseas. It is the principal voice for the water sector, focusing on the sustainable management and promotion of the water environment and encompassing drinking water, wastewater and stormwater.
The Education and Training Subgroup of the Stormwater Committee had carried out several practitioner surveys and identified a number of training needs. Stormwater management is a fast-changing, a complex and multidisciplinary field and the list of training needs was enormously long.
To make sense of it all, I adopted the concept of the urban development cycle, which can apply to both greenfield and brownfield developments.
In a 1-page diagram, the cycle shows the many different disciplines involved in sustainable stormwater and how professional and vocational training needs are intimately interwoven throughout the 40+ training topics shown.
That made it much easier to:
And it can all be shown in a one-page diagram. Supporting this holistic overview is a table with 11 topics and over 40 training subtopics plus a detailed implementation and evaluation plan to help stormwater experts meet their own training needs. Everyone can see at a glance their own specialist training sector, the related disciplines they work with and a career pathway within and beyond the stormwater sector.
The full plan is now on the Water New Zealand Website and is open for comment. Check it out here.
New Zealand has just about the biggest plant and animal pest problems in the world. We are fortunate that the work of government agencies is massively supplemented by hosts of ordinary land owners, rural and urban, and an almost equally large number of not-for-profit organizations. And the environmental entrepreneurs and scientific researchers are producing new knowledge and tools all the time. This gives us hope and impetus towards the government’s audacious ‘Predator Free 2050’ vision – now, of course, supported by a significant portion of the Government’s Covid-19 green recovery package.
But how is a government body to describe this hugely diverse effort in order to work out the best way to support the people out there doing this valuable work on the ground? My colleague Annette Lees and I were asked to develop a capability strategy to identify the skills needed by all the players out there, and ways to meet them by training and other means.
We interviewed our client’s dedicated staff and many volunteers, who gave us their valuable time. We came up with two half-page diagrams and a half-page table that grouped the players into three main groups, identified four categories of skills from hands-on to strategic and set out a ten-year progression of phases towards a vibrant and sustainable sector actively protecting Aotearoa New Zealand’s unique biodiversity. We also set out ways of evaluating the effectiveness and outcomes of any new training and of the excellent training already on offer out there.
We’ve been delighted to hear that people in our client organization and out there in the volunteer and professional communities ‘get’ our analysis and are finding it simplifies their approach to their work.