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Training required for NBN project

The National Broadband Network is calling for registered training providers to bring NBN workers’ skills up to the level required to work on the nationwide project. The project will employ some 18,000 people.

NBN Co, the company overseeing the NBN project, has made a call for applications and announced that training will be provided from the second half of 2012, in time for the full rollout of the project in 2014.

Kevin Brown, NBN Co’s head of corporate services, said the project required people skilled in a range of areas, from network engineers to manual labourers. He said he understood that the project would compete for talent with the booming mining industry, but also stated that the “key difference” between the NBN’s job requirements and those created by the mining boom “is that the work of NBN Co is dispersed right across the country. It will provide real opportunities for local employment”.

Training will take less than three months for semi-skilled roles, while those in more complex network engineering roles would need up to two years’ training. Those already skilled in a particular trade may need as little as two weeks, Brown added.

NBN Co will also continue to look for contractors to complete aspects of the project, particularly construction work. Silcar, an asset construction and management company, has a $380 million contract to build 40% of the 19 second release sites and NBN Co are considering another five construction companies to add to its construction capacity.

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