Call to water services providers for support with young professionals' careers

Water and sanitation services providers, including utility managers, are being called on to support work to recruit and retain the best young professionals for the sector.

Research has begun for a project that will design Guidance for utility and service provision managers to help them create opportunities in the sector that attracts the most talented young people. The aim for the Guidance is to provide new and innovative ideas for service providers on how to manage their young workforce– ideas that are practical and easy to implement.

Managers of public and private water and sanitation utilities, public water authorities and service operators in urban and rural areas in low and middle-income countries are being asked to be part of the research and give their vital insights into young people's careers. This would entail a short online interview with the researchers, which can be in English, French, Spanish or Portuguese.

From listening to young professionals both in the sector and other connected sectors such as climate change and health, the messages are that they:

  • Want to move around between jobs more easily within the sector rather than stay in one organisation;
  • Want to be able to move between related sectors such as water, health, environment, and climate change;
  • Don’t want to be known as just water professionals and see themselves as part of wider agendas on climate change and sustainability;
  • Have new skills and ways of working that are not recognised or understood by employers and that are much more transferrable than employers acknowledge;
  • Can be encouraged and incentivised not just financially but through the opportunities of experiences, networks and more formal recognition of their contributions.

The project is being managed by AquaFed and the research phase is being carried out by the Rural Water Supply Network, hosted by Skat Foundation. The project is funded by the Netherlands Government as part of its Valuing Water Initiative Youth Journey.

We are keen to reach as many service providers as possible, so please circulate this call in your networks.

If you would like to be part of the research and to find out more about the Guidance, please contact Neil Dhot at AquaFed: or you can provide your details here.

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