NBN on Monday said it would spend $40 million to attract and train 4,500 industry workers to help hit its target of connecting 8 million homes to the network by 2020.
The current construction workforce is expected to double to 9,000 workers as a result of the investment. Around 1300 positions will be available in NSW and the ACT, 850 in Queensland, 800 in Victoria, 850 in Western Australia, 400 in South Australia and the Northern Territory, and 200 in Tasmania.
NBN CEO Bill Morrow said to bring high speed broadband to Australians faster, delivery partners will need a bigger pool of trained, skilled workers.
The company plans to attract school leavers and workers coming off other construction jobs, building training and re-skilling programs with tailored career paths.
NBN said it intends to expand the industry’s workforce to meet construction and activation requirements, and long-term opportunities will be created as the network moves into ongoing operations and maintenance.
The company is looking for telco copper cable jointers, telco lines workers, cablers, telco technicians and electrical lines workers.
“To those with telco experience, there are options to use your skills to become a teacher and coach for the next generation of workers,” Morrow said.
“To those thinking about what course or career to pursue, our partners are developing options that will include training and real job opportunities on the NBN network over the long term,” he added.
NBN is signing agreements with training organisations, including TAFEs, in every major rollout region across the country. A national NBN skills register will be established to record worker accreditations across the network.
Internet Australia said it supported the plan to engaged retired telco workers and create an expanded workforce to roll out the NBN.
“We particularly encourage them to create jobs for young people, especially those living in regional and remote areas,” Internet Australia, CEO, Laurie Patton said in a statement.
“It’s not just the construction phase that requires this additional workforce, there’s also ongoing maintenance of the system well into the future.”