The CWU and other Telstra unions met with Telstra on 11 August for the regular quarterly briefing on the progress of training under the company’s $100 million deed with the Commonwealth.
E-bulletin readers will recall that this deed was part of the initial Definitive Agreements between Telstra, nbn and the federal government that underpinned the NBN project. The $100 million is for the retraining of Telstra staff likely to be made redundant by the NBN and for helping to ensure there is a skilled workforce to support the NBN project.
The first 3 year training plan began in 2012, with initial work focussing largely on developing training courses as well as delivering compliance training around the structural separation requirements imposed on Telstra. Technical training developed more slowly, mirroring the initially slow pace of the NBN roll-out.
But the increased pace of the roll-out together with Telstra’s enlarged role in it has meant a ramp up in technical training, especially for the field workforce – the area where most NBN-related redundancies are likely to occur.
Telstra says that the programme is currently dominated by Operations as the company deals with the skills demands of its FTTN and HFC design contracts, its NBN maintenance (OMMA) contracts and the development of its in-premises workforce.
There is currently a strong focus on HFC-related skills – a situation that reflects what the CWU believes to be an industry-wide shortage in this area. While Telstra’s contract work in this area relates mostly to design and project management, it also has some maintenance work in South Australia.
Further training is also being delivered on new NBN-related products and on NBN-related assurance processes.
Any CWU members wanting such training and still waiting for it to be delivered should contact their state branch so that the union can pursue the matter with Telstra.