Telstra is looking outside Australia to fill many of the 1500 technology roles that were created as part of its massive restructure.
The carrier announced in June last year it would eliminate 9500 roles but create 1500 new roles, putting net job losses at around 8000 people.
At the time, the 1500 roles to be created were characterised as “building new capabilities required for the future, in particular ... software engineering, information and cybersecurity”.
However on Wednesday Telstra CEO Andy Penn told a Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) event that the majority of the new roles, to date, had been fulfilled by offshore workers.
“These roles are sourced where the best talent is available, both within and outside of Australia,” Penn said.
“Currently we are sourcing far more of this talent from outside Australia than from within.”
Penn said that Telstra’s “urgent” need for skills made India an attractive sourcing ground.
“Given our urgent need, Telstra will be creating a new Telstra innovation and capability centre in Bangalore, which will become operational later this year,” he said.
“This centre consolidates our presence in India where we already work with many partners and furthers in-house talent we previously sourced from third parties.
“It means we can quickly hire, develop and scale that talent across our business.”
Penn said that “Australia’s skilled labour market is currently too small to meet Telstra’s need for specific skills”.
This means, he said, “we have had to ramp up our recruitment of software engineers from overseas.”
“When we look at the deep domain technology skills we need, when we look at our growth profile, Australia is not able to meet our requirements in the short term and we have to tap the global talent market while those issues are addressed domestically,” he said.
“To give that more global context, Australia had around 1200 new software engineers in the last 12 months, compared to 44,000 in India.”