19 November, 2018 14:05
Photo of Lita Barnes at Beaudesert STP

Queensland Urban Utilities’ first school-based trainee has swapped the classroom for a hard hat to get a headstart on her career.

Lita Barnes began her traineeship in July 2017 and has spent one day each week learning the ropes at Beaudesert Sewage Treatment Plant to gain a Certificate II in Water Operations.

Queensland Urban Utilities Plant Manager, Michael Oakey, said the program was a great way for students to gain skills for the workforce.

“Lita has been willing to tackle anything and she is a self-starter so this role was perfect for her,” he said.

“How quickly she adapted is a credit to her because working in a sewage treatment plant is quite a different environment from school.”

Lita, who is in Year 12 at Beaudesert State High School, said the practical elements of the role attracted her to the traineeship.

“I’ve picked up so many water-saving techniques we can use at home, and learnt more than I’ve ever known about sewage treatment plants,” the Kooralbyn local said.

“I’ve found it really interesting to see how everything works behind the scenes and visiting other treatment plants has been an eye-opener as well.”

Lita’s tasks included taking chlorine samples and daily readings, as well as carrying out routine maintenance checks at sewage treatment plants and pump stations.

Jesse Olsen from Flagstone Community College has followed in Lita’s footsteps and has also begun a Certificate II in Water Operations at Beaudesert Sewage Treatment Plant.

After finishing school this month Lita plans on starting a diesel fitting apprenticeship.

Queensland Urban Utilities hopes to roll out more traineeship opportunities across its regional areas.


About Queensland Urban Utilities
Established on July 1, 2010, Queensland Urban Utilities is one of the largest water distributor-retailers in Australia, providing water and sewerage services to more than 1.4 million residents across Brisbane, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim and Somerset local authority areas. We are upgrading and improving the reliability of our infrastructure by investing $2.76 billion in a 10-year capital works program. Our service territory covers 14,384 square kilometres and we employ around 1,100 people.