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Group combats telco skill shortage with AUT

Cabletalk Group teams up with AUT to combat telco skills shortage

For immediate release
March 27, 2006

Spurred on by the shortage of people with telecommunications and digital servicing skills, Cabletalk Group has partnered with AUT University’s School of Engineering to offer paid work experience for students in conjunction with their course work.

Under the agreement, students studying for a Diploma in Electrotechnology will be able to complete two weeks’ full-time work three times a year within the Cabletalk Group, working for its subsidiaries, telecommunications servicing company Astute, electronic security company Fortlock and ICT providers and servicing companies CodeBlue and Talking Solutions.

Cabletalk Managing Director Peter Wilson says the company will be able to offer work experience to approximately half the number of students enrolled in the course and will be actively looking to employ graduates at the end of their studies.

“Like other firms in our industry we are experiencing a shortage of people with the abilities to service the digital technologies, which are increasingly becoming the way of the future, both in business and lifestyle areas.”

Peter Wilson said the training will be very hands-on. Students will work on site with Cabletalk technicians and assist with tasks such as installing structured cabling solutions and transmission circuits, voice systems, setting-up and installing IT infrastructure and terminals, as well as installing integrated security and management systems.

He said industry training group ETITO recently completed a research project on telecommunications sector training that found the availability of in-course training was an issue when it came to students developing the skills and experience they needed in the workforce.

Head of AUT’s School of Engineering, Professor Thomas Neitzert, said he would be actively encouraging students to participate in the work experience offered.

“The chance to link theoretical training and practical experience is an invaluable opportunity,” he said.

“Cabletalk is an ideal partner for us as they work on a broad reach of digital technologies. That means students will have the opportunity to experience a wide range of electro-engineering trades in the workplace.”

He said AUT and Cabletalk will be looking at revising next year’s electrotechnology curriculum to take greater advantage of the new partnership.

Peter Wilson said that Cabletalk would also be developing induction programmes for students to give them an understanding of factors such as customer service, which were crucial in the everyday work environment.

“We will also be working with AUT to bring other technology companies into the arrangement, because the kind of training we are talking about is a vital building block for New Zealand’s future economic well being.

“We also expect to be working with AUT on a range of technical and research issues, which we believe have commercial potential for us, while giving them the opportunity to utilise their resources in the research area.”


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