TRAINING

The Minister for the Environment has set up two main training projects for young people interested in water-related skills - the "Water Polygon" and "Crescendeau".

  1. The " Water Polygon ", operated by the Walloon Water Company (SWDE) in Verviers, the capital of Walloon water, brings together the operators and services from the region's water industry.

    The " Water Polygon " comprises two main elements :
  • A Centre for Water Management, run by the SWDE, promotes and publicises water professions and publicises water-related environmental technology.
  • A Training Centre for water-related professional skills, run by FOREM, caters to companies and individuals active in the water sector, to job-seekers considering the water industry, to teachers and students from the technical and professional educational sector, and to young people approaching the end of their studies and heading towards the world of work. This project seeks to create a new structure capable of tackling the tasks devolved to skill centres, particularly in terms of training for the new technologies in this sector. Some 10 trainers are employed, providing full-time training to 50 trainees at a time, or some 300 workers, 50 job-seekers, and 100 students and educationalists annually.
  1. Crescendeau", backed by the University of Liege - brings together under one roof a research centre and a centre of water-related scientific expertise designed to meet the needs of both public operators and industry. The Walloon Region has thus at its disposal a scientific and technological tool to develop its qualitative and quantitative expertise of the whole water cycle, and develop its water industry - in response to the challenge of the European framework directive on water. The centre will be fully operational from mid-2004. It will have a staff of seven in its start-up phase, and eleven when fully operational.

RESEARCH

The Minister has invited the universities to work together in PIRENE (the programme for integrated research on water and the environment). Eighteen services from seven Walloon universities work with the Walloon political and administrative authorities, and the water operators, based in the environment pole of the University of Liege.

The aim is to develop a model for each sub-basin to provide real assistance and input to those managing the integrated water cycle. This is a European first.