Talking to Kim Kerby, Simmonds & Bristow’s “pocket rocket” of water industry training, is an energising experience! The passion she brings to her role is palpable. Her hands move excitedly as she explains the “flows” of water through mediums and why it is so important and exciting for her.
Kim, together with the Simmonds and Bristow training team (Paul, Liz, Travis, Bill and Emilia); all with complementary skills qualifications and experience, deliver the Water Industry Worker Program to participating councils across Qld. Among other individual clients crossing network operators in various utilities companies and councils, this is currently being delivered for 3 groups of 5-6 local councils who have cleverly banded together to form a training cohort.
This training is critical in supporting and strengthening the skills of council water industry employees, contributing to their upskilling, job security and ability to meet any demanding situation. It also ensures parity and consistency of quality of network operators across the councils.
Kim says that no other training group comes close to the level of expertise and years of experience of the S&B trainers.
These courses are fast becoming renowned in the industry and booking out quickly whenever they are offered.
They’re different and far more experiential than bringing students into a lecture room because the Simmonds & Bristow trainers go out to the client’s premises (usually a council or other utilities operator) and teach them on their infrastructure, using their equipment and using scenarios they are likely to face.
This is possible because of the wealth of experience that the Simmonds & Bristow team gain working across such a wide variety of water treatment systems in their regional and remote work.
Their experience and knowledge can be seamlessly adapted to any training environment they walk into. They’re also flexible enough to adapt the training course to any needs they might cite on the day as specialist or particular to their circumstances.
When in training mode, the team might start the day by asking the client “what job have you got on today?” A popular one can be a road crossing (laying a water service pipe across the road), or identifying sluice valves and water hydrants and labelling them as a service to the community. (That was actually done for the Cherberg community as a training exercise and it will now stand them in very good stead if there is a fire because the fireys won’t need to waste any time figuring where they need to connect their hoses!)
There are 11 subjects per course and it takes 1-2 years to complete, but the Simmonds & Bristow team help their students achieve that in 12-18 months. At the end of it they have a Certificate 3 in Water Industry Operations, but S&B also deliver everything from Cert 2 to Diploma level.
Another experiential training scenario might be a smoke test. A device with a motor and white oil pumps white smoke into the sewer lines then the training group walk the neighbourhood to see where it is coming out. If it comes out of a house vent, that’s a great outcome. But if it comes out of the ground, they know there is a break in the pipe. If it comes out of gutters, travelling in reverse up drainpipes, that would indicate a cross connection between sewer and stormwater, which is not a good thing and will require a stormwater infiltration investigation.
Whatever the task, Simmonds & Bristow trainers insist on employing real life examples using real equipment wherever humanly possible.
Kim loves her work because she asserts that Simmonds & Bristow people really care about the communities they serve and take the time to offer a rare level of customer service.
Providing potable water is such an essential task and sharing the knowledge that helps water workers do that more effectively and with more passion is highly rewarding. “We’re winning awards and people are talking about the training we do” says Kim, proudly.
Find out why!
For further information contact us on 1800 620 690. To watch a video about the training click here. To sign up, go to our website.
Simmonds & Bristow offers virtual training too, so no matter how remote your team, you can access our training.