NBN to spend $40m training 4500 network workers

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NBN to spend $40m training 4500 network workers

Experienced telco techies sought to mentor younger workers.

NBN intends to spend almost $40 million to attract and train another 4500 workers in existing telecommunications technologies, in order to help its delivery partners accelerate the build of Australia's national broadband network.

NBN chief executive Bill Morrow said the company and its network partners wanted to attract "late-stage career workers" with telco industry experience to pass onto younger colleagues.

Telco veterans choosing to stay on in the industry and work on the NBN rollout can expect flexible working hours to balance work and family, he said.

“To those with telco experience, there are options to use your skills or become a teacher and coach for the next generation of workers,” Morrow said.

The national broadband network company listed a range of occupations needed to meet its requirements including telco copper cable jointers, lines workers, cablers, telco technicians and electrical linesworkers.

The company is also after school leavers and construction workers in its bid to double its current minimum deployment work force to 9000, so it can meet its objective of providing all Australian homes, businesses and communities with access to high-speed broadband by 2020.

NSW and the ACT are expected to provide the largest number of additional workers for NBN with 1300 more staff hired. NBN's Queensland and Western Australia's workforces are to be bolstered by 850 each, Victoria by 800, and South Australia/Northern Territory by 400. 

Tasmania's NBN rollout is expected to add on a further 200 workers, the company said.

Training courses will be run through TAFEs and registered organisations nationwide, and NBN will set up a skills register to record worker accreditations. 

After training, the workers will be offered jobs by NBN contractors Transfield, Thiess and Leighton.

Job opportunities are expected to continue after the NBN rollout is completed, in areas of network maintenance and ongoing operations, but the company did not say what percentage of new hires are likely to be retained.

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