Emerging Talent – Blog Post

How different generations could benefit the water industry workforce

At the most recent Emerging Talent Group meeting in May, the group focused on analysing the different generations in society and understanding how their strengths and weaknesses could be used to help bridge knowledge gaps within the industry and present opportunities for the water workforce. A summary of some of key discussion points are below.

For example, Gen Alpha provide an opportunity for the industry to embed water educational initiatives to help improve understanding of water stewardship and careers early on.

Gen Z and Millennials have a focus on company culture, diversity and inclusion and want to make a difference in their careers, particularly around caring for the environment. There is the potential for the water industry to tap into this generations values and attract them to the industry.


Gen X and Boomers provide many transferable skills which could be applied to the water and wastewater sector. Unconscious bias could prevent these generations from joining the sector, therefore awareness of their strengths needs to be considered in industry wide recruitment strategies.

The opportunity for inter-generational knowledge exchange was also discussed by the group at length. This could provide a platform for transferring tacit knowledge from those who have been in the workforce for a longer period to new entrants, whilst Gen Z and Millennials could share their experience of digital skills.

There are many challenges facing the industry with regards to people however, there are also great opportunities and strengths that each generation could contribute. The Future Water Emerging Talent Group is excited to continue to discuss how different generations can be attracted and can share knowledge to help make the industry more resilient for the future.

By Caledonia Bhatia – Emerging Talent Group Lead