Posted: Wednesday 10th April 2019

Develop Training Ltd (DTL) has unveiled a major new water mains practice area to help the industry respond to critical skills shortages.

It is predicted that the utilities will lose half their employees by 2023 because of an ageing workforce and long-term under-investment in training.

DTL, which delivers training for big utility firms, has invested in the new area and launched two new courses to respond to the crisis by training new operatives in laying and repairing water mains.

Daryll Garavan, DTL’s Delivery Manager for Water, said: “This fantastic new facility will enable us to deliver a standard of practical training that would be impossible in the classroom or on a working site.”

The investment is the latest in a series of initiatives by the training company to help the sector respond to the problem and protect the UK’s infrastructure. DTL has pioneered new technology such as video learning, but it remains committed to practical training because of the nature of its customers’ work.

The extensive new mains-laying facility is located at DTL’s Derby site, one of seven training centres across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. DTL also delivers practical training at customers’ locations and on their operational sites.

Two new courses will be delivered using the new facility, one focused on main laying and the other on repair and maintenance.

The first, known as “Network Construction Operations Water Level 2 Main Laying”, is a five-day course for operatives and supervisors who require skills in identification, cutting, laying and jointing of water mains. Typically, these will be employees of water network asset owners, WIRS-registered companies and self-lay organisations.

Delegates will gain the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to cut, joint and lay water mains up to 315mm diameter. As well as developing competence, the course will teach communications skills and risk assessment, and successful candidates will be compliant with industry standards.

The main-laying area will be used for practical demonstrations, exercises and assessments in

This course incorporates assessment and certification for the “Level 2 Diploma in Network Construction Operations (Water) - Main layer” jointly awarded by SQA and CABWI, with successful candidates registered on the EUSR database.

The second course, titled “Network Construction Operations Water Level 2 Repair and Maintenance”, lasts two days. It is aimed at operatives and supervisors who require skills in identifying, cutting, repairing and restoring water mains and services for water network asset owners and WIRS-registered companies.

To take part, delegates must have either already achieved, or be working towards, the Level 2 NCO Water in Mains and Service Laying qualification.

Out in the new practice area, participants will learn to

· Benefits of attending for the employer

Using DTL’s award-winning Learning Assessment Portal, employers can remotely access digital portfolios to review progression of their delegates on either of the courses.

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