AlertForce predicts online training in Australia will soar under NBN job plans to speed up the rollout of the national broadband network by doubling its construction workforce.

Announcing “one of Australia’s largest training initiatives” on August 3, 2015, Federal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said nbn™ (NBN Co) would work with delivery partners to recruit and train an additional 4,500 workers. This will see the current project construction workforce doubled, with 9,000 workers employed at the peak of the rollout.

Mr Turnbull said nbn™ had identified “skills shortages and would work with delivery partners to ensure that trained workers have jobs after their training and stay on working in the project and the telecoms industry as the project proceeds”.

The scheme will target school leavers and people in the industry who require retraining.

“This is one of the largest infrastructure projects in Australia’s history and it’s certainly the most complex,” Mr Turnbull said. “It’s vital we have enough people to roll out the network as we increase the pace of the rollout.”

Welcoming the initiative, AlertForce chief executive officer Brendan Torazzi said AlertForce was “ideally positioned” to help NBN Co train its new workforce.

AlertForce is the sole provider of online safety induction training to nbn™. A mandatory requirement for nbn™ employees, induction training requires employees to demonstrate practical safety skills and knowledge of the NBN.

“Economies provided by the expanded workforce and online technology reduce the need for face-to- face training and allow us to provide even better efficiency and value for NBN Co,” Mr Torazzi said.

Mr Torazzi said there has been a shift from traditional face-to-face induction training to online in recent years, as employers seek more cost-effective ways to train employees.

In the price-challenged coal industry, for example, falling coal prices have seen mining employers turn to more cost-efficient online induction training for new employees.

“The advantages of doing theory training online include working at your own pace; there is no travel involved and there are other cost savings for employers such as the initial cost of the course.” In the case of the coal industry course, workers are required to keep a logbook demonstrating practical application of the skills learnt.

As part of its plan to speed up delivery of the NBN, nbn™ will work with training organisations to deliver relevant programs, while delivery partners will be responsible for providing on-the-job training. The nbn™ will also establish a skills register to ensure workers are retained in the industry. nbn™ aims to accelerate connection of eight million homes to the NBN network by 2020.

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For more information on AlertForce’s Mandatory NBN Safety and Awareness Course/Training, go to http://alertforce.com.au/ohs-training-courses/nationally-recognised-nbn-safety-awareness-course/ .

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