The Young Water Professionals (YWP) programme is an initiative of the International Water Association (IWA), which aims to build a network of water professionals that are finishing their academic studies or are in the early years of their careers. The programme offers practical and effective ways for those interested in a career in the water sector to follow their interests and experiences. It is committed to engage with the water sector to support work related activities, which recognizes excellence in providing professional development and supporting collaborative efforts in recruiting high caliber Young Water Professionals.
Why Establish a YWP Group in Albania?
The efficient and effective development of the water sector is impossible without a sustained flow of young professionals, who both enter the water sector and continue to develop professionally in the field, thereby adding to the capacity and competency of the water sector in the country.
The fulfillment of the present and future needs of the water sector in Albania requires continuous development of a workforce which is adequate in size, capable in skills, and strong in leadership. Young water professionals (students and professionals in the water sector who are under the age of 35) are the future of the water sector all over the world, and this is especially true in Albania.
How Did the Albanian Programme Start in Albania?
The Water Supply and Sewerage Association of Albania, in identifying this need for the future success of the water sector in Albania, committed its talent and resources to encourage the creation of a YWP Group. The first initiative in that regard was the arrangement for a group of 16 young professionals to attend the Regional Young Water Professionals Conference held in Belgrade, Serbia in April 2010. During this Conference, the Albanian YWP had the chance to make contacts with other YWP at the regional and international level, and to exchange ideas and experiences. Once this group returned to Albania, they decided to establish an YWP Group in Albania.
However, considering the need of the Albanian YWP Group for support and sharing of know-how and experience in taking such an initiative, and taking into account the existing experience of other countries, it was decided that some form of mutual cooperation with other international YWP Groups would be an important factor to be considered, especially in the formative period of the Albanian
YWP Group. Having identified, by means of contacts with the International Water Association that the Austrian YWP was an excellent example of a successful organization, and after having contacted the Austrian YWP Group, it was decided that a formal cooperation agreement should be entered between the Austrian YWP and the newly formed Albanian YWP group.
In that regard, during Albanian Water Week in November 2010, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the newly formed YWP of Albania and the YWP of Austria. The signing of the document took place on 4 November 2010 on first working day of the Annual Conference of the Water Supply and Sewerage Association of Albania. The official signatures to the agreement were Ms. Katerina Ruzicka, representing the Austrian YWP, and Ms. Elisabeta Poçi, representing the Albanian YWP.
The purpose of this MoU is to establish a collaborative arrangement between the two groups to achieve some stated objectives. Under this MOU, the Albanian and Austrian YWP’s agree to cooperate in the development of an Annual Work Plan that would encourage and support the establishment of the Albanian YWP Group to include the exchange of know-how, organization of study tours, twinning arrangements, conducting joint workshops on topics of common interest to both Groups, and the possible exchange of YWP members through internships.
Mission of the Albanian YWP Group
The Albanian YWP Group aims to provide information, resources and events that will improve networking and career opportunities for the next generation of water professionals and, in so doing, to enhance the value of their contribution to the sustainable management of water. This mission is further supported by the following key points:
Encourage young professionals to become actively involved with SHUKALB regionally and nationally;
Provide an environment where young professionals can meet, get information, and exchange ideas;
Facilitate opportunities to learn and grow professionally by professional seminars, technical tours, and career development programs;
Encourage community involvement through volunteering and mentoring.
Eligibility and Membership Categories
An individual, such as a water supply and sewerage company employee, local and central government employee, engineer, researcher, educator, consultant, or other professional interested in building a career in the field of water supply and sewerage, and under the age of 35 years.
A student pursuing his/her degree in a subject related field such as hydraulics, environmental engineering, etc.
Benefits of Joining the Young Water Professionals of Albania
Career Advancement Opportunities
Mentoring and Leadership Opportunities
Workshops and Training Courses
Public Speaking Opportunities
National and International Conferences
Access to Volunteer and Community Outreach Programs