A School of Trades to share and promote skills

The School of Trades has evolved into the Train the Trainers programme promoted by the Acea Business School. Please see our dedicated section to find out more.

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 were selected and senior figures were trained as trade master committed to sharing their know-how. Alessia as well became a trade master. Thanks to her skills, to the experience acquired and also to the tutor that had been at her side since she joined Acea.

The companies in the Group had at their disposal a selection of courses, divided by skill, to train their employees. Training was carried out through courses dedicated to each skill: this created 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 were very positive, both in terms of attendance and learning. Tests taken before and after the courses showed a 58%-90% increase in knowledge.

The School of Trades in Numbers

mapped skills
ongoing courses
sessions completed
Group companies involved
trained trade masters
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, 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 her training and for all intents and purposes she became 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 was at her side and curated the content of video tutorials providing extra in-depth knowledge.
“Even if Alessia no longer needs me” Antonio said 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”. Explained Andrea Belli, Technical 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 depended on the content. Before starting the course, each trade master had been specifically trained and was 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” added Andrea. For the most hands-on skills, in addition to the work in class, the course included 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”.


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