A School of Trades to share and promote skills

The Imhoff tank is a study that measures the sedimentation of sewage sludge. It is a routine operation at all plants. A simple process but hugely important because many other essential activities required to manage efficiently and successfully the water treatment process depend on it. “At Acea even these types of operations are carried out very carefully.” Alessia knows the value of doing well even the smallest things. Because at Acea she had a very special teacher.

Once identified, skills are selected and senior figures are trained as trade master committed to sharing their know-how. Today Alessia is a trade master. Thanks to her skills, to the experience acquired until now and also to the tutor that has been at her side since she joined Acea.

The individual companies in the Group have at their disposal a selection of courses, divided by skill, to train their employees. Training is carried out through courses dedicated to each skill: this creates a direct and structured path between teacher and students. An opportunity for students not just to learn technical skills but also to realize that knowledge helps them grow.
The School of Trades results are very positive, both in terms of attendance and learning. Tests taken before and after the courses show a 58%-90% increase in knowledge.

The School of Trades in Numbers

60
mapped skills
17
ongoing courses
110
sessions completed
7
Group companies involved
72
trained trade masters
521
course participants

“The students are very well prepared; they already have a good level of technical knowledge. What we can teach them is the ability to get colleagues involved and committed to reaching the common objective.” The same involvement and commitment that Antonio noticed in Alessia from the first days she joined the company.
I was very motivated. I liked everything about the world of water treatment. Training in the field with Antonio fueled my passion even more. Said Alessia. “Curiosity at work is everything: I learned that each one of us plays a key role in the water treatment process. In fact, we can only reach great results if we all work together”. In her role as Team Leader, Alessia spends a lot of time motivating the people in her team. 

“Every day I organize a moment for my team to come together and share. Not just as technicians but as people. At the School of Trades, I would like to communicate this to people: it is important to create a relationship with colleagues and to always try to give a little bit more to those besides you”.

Alessia has just completed her training and for all intents and purposes she now is a trade master, ready to walk into the classroom and teach her new colleagues her skills in the water treatment sector. During this course Antonio will be at her side and curate the content of video tutorials providing extra in-depth knowledge.
“Even if Alessia no longer needs me” Antonio says smiling, “I continue to follow her work for the pleasure of meeting her new colleagues and sharing experiences and knowledge with them. I told you, I’m curious!”

How the School of Trades Came About

“We started by mapping the most complex skills, especially valuable skills, skills shared by few people or people close to retirement”. Explains Andrea Belli, Professional and Digital Skills Training Manager at Gruppo Acea. “We defined key characteristics and objectives for each one”. 
A course was created, and a trade master was selected for each skill. The duration of the course depends on the content. Before starting the course, each trade master has been specifically trained and is assisted over time in defining a development plan for the role. “Because even when you have great specialist skills, it is never easy to transmit your know-how to others” adds Andrea. For the most hands-on skills, in addition to the work in class, the course includes practical sessions at the plants. “We are also working on a digital library with video tutorials created by trade masters to demonstrate the most complicated functionalities and processes. Videos are available to everyone on our e-learning platform”.