The CWU met with Telstra late last month (24 March) to hear a report on NBN-related training activity under the government-funded training deed.
Members may remember that there are two purposes to this training programme – to retrain Telstra employees whose jobs could be made redundant by the NBN and to help provide appropriately skilled workers to that project.
At present much of the training being provided relates to the NBN contracts Telstra has won in design and operations/maintenance.
In Customer Service Delivery the main focus at present is on training in activation and assurance functions related to the Customer Sub-Loop (CSL) and Operation and Maintenance Master Agreement (OMMA) contracts. Most of this is FTTN/FTTB work, although there is also some HFC training (focussed largely on South Australia) and ongoing FTTP training required.
In design, the incorporation of Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) in the NBN’s suite of platforms means there is a need for training in this area in addition to the ongoing training in relation to other fixed wireline technologies (FTTN/ FTTB, HFC).
These design skills are heavily in demand at present but of course the NBN design work has a limited lifetime so it is important that longer-term opportunities and related training needs are also identified for current employees.
In the CWU’s view, in-premises networking continues to represent a growth area, especially as the Internet of Things evolves. Telstra has already put its toe in these waters and needs to ensure that its internal skill development programme keeps pace with the commercial opportunities they represent.