The Queensland Government has revealed that it’s looking for 100 new trainees which it hopes will be able to assist with the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) and the switch-over to Digital TV in the state.
Together with Energy Skills Queensland, the Bligh Government will run a number of intake programs across the state in a bid to boost the number of skilled workers ready to begin work on the NBN and assist with the Digital TV switchover currently occurring across Australia. In a statement yesterday afternoon, the Bligh Government confirmed it’ll spend up to $500,000, training up to 100 new employees over multiple 9-week periods as part of its ‘Queensland Telecommunications New Entrant Program’.
“Each intake will start an eight-week accredited training course to earn a Certificate II in Telecommunications Cabling or Electrotechnology,” Queensland Minister for Employment, Skills and Mining Stirling Hinchliffe said. “It will go a long way towards meeting the needs of unemployed people who want to find work, employers looking for staff with the right skills and communities who want a smooth roll-out of important telecommunications infrastructure.”
It’s hoped graduates from the program will then be able to seek work on either the roll out of the high-speed NBN or assist with the switch from analogue television to digital in the state. Part of the funding for the program will come from the ‘Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative,’ while the majority will be paid for by the Queensland Department of Education and Training.
ESQ Industry Engagement Manager Rohan Anderson said the program would enable the rollout of the NBN in the region to occur smoothly, as well as aid the Digital Switchover program by providing capable job candidates. “The accredited training will focus on developing practical skills the industry needs and will include work experience so participants get a good feel for the job,” Anderson said.
Areas in which intakes will occur include Ipswich, Logan, Brisbane North, Brisbane South, Redland Bay, Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast.
Work on the NBN in the state is already underway, with the first trial site for the state near Townsville nearing completion. NBN Co, the organisation responsible for the network, is now preparing to start work on second stage sites, with Toowoomba, more areas surrounding Townsville and the Brisbane areas of Goodna and Springfield all included in the second phase.
The Digital TV switchover meanwhile is also about to begin in the state, with many regional areas of the state including Cairns, the Central coast and the Capricornia to be digital-only by the end of the year.