Online professional development keeps industries connected

SOURCE: Carl De Souza/AFP
Many industries and services have been affected badly by the ongoing pandemic.

By U2B Staff 

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Professional development programmes are great initiatives to keep professionals engaged with the community and the latest skills, techniques and happenings within their field. 

The current situation of global lockdowns which have rendered most of us to work from home has opened up a new norm of video conferencing and virtual workspaces. 

As for Australia’s resident lifeguards, professional development does not only serve as a means to upgrade their skills but to also connect and socialise with one another during this period of isolation. 


Aquatic and fitness training organisation Life Saving Victoria (LSV) collaborated with several other organisations in the industry to deliver a free online professional development series to support social engagement and professional development among lifeguards and professionals with similar responsibilities.

The series of free online opportunities consist of presentations, seminars and panel events conducted by known national professionals from the aquatic and fitness industry.

At a time where most professionals are asked to work from home if they are able to or to stay home if they have flu-like symptoms, this provides a good opportunity for those who have to stay home keep up with their professional development so that they don’t fall behind amidst this stagnant period. 

This professional development programme will be delivered via live stream sessions four times each week. The first introductory stream session was on 7 April.  

Professional Development
While most non-essential workers are told to stay home, this is an opportunity to upskill. Tony Karumba/AFP.

Besides bringing together members from the industry to engage and connect with one another during these dire times, the programme also provides ample opportunity for the industry to come together and prepare for a total revamp of the industry which is highly likely to happen after the pandemic dies down. 

It was Life Saving Victoria’s decision to launch this professional development series after a majority of industry personnel stepped down from their positions from around 600+ council, school and learn-to-swim facilities. 

With many professionals left without jobs, it became a priority to bring the industry community together and build upon collaborative upskilling efforts. 

“Our people are our industry and now more than ever we collectively and individually need collaboration, engagement and connections,” said Life Saving Victoria Chief Executive Nigel Taylor.

“LSV is pleased to be able to coordinate this project and thankful for the positive response and willingness of the project partnership team.”


The same thing is happening to other industries in Australia. The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), for instance, is providing library worker members with access to a catalogue-full of professional development opportunities.

ALIA also provides their own professional development programmes that can be accessed by members only. 

This goes to show that professional development programmes are ideal especially in industries which have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Professionals can slowly build up their skills while keeping in touch with their respective industry networks to stay ahead of the game.