Telstra adds 1,000 roles for communications technicians

In a bid to improve fault repair and installation timeframes, Telstra has added 1,000 communications technician roles across Australia.

Following news of job cuts earlier this week, Telstra has announced the addition of 1,000 roles for communications technicians (CTs) across Australia over the coming six months.

Telstra said the roles, which will be a mixture of full-time Telstra staffers and sub-contractors to be supplied through partner ISGM, are being added in order to ensure its customer experience is improved via decreased installation and fault repair times.

"Connectivity is now absolutely central in so many homes and businesses, and our customers expect us to install new services and fix faults as quickly as possible," Telstra executive director of Customer Service Delivery Brian Harcourt said.

"We know that sometimes, the experience our customers can have when they need a fault fixed or a new service installed can improve, and we are building up our resources to do just that.

"Increasing the number of CTs that perform these tasks will have the dual benefit of enabling us to get through more work and freeing up our more experienced technicians to deal with more complex tasks."

The CTs will undertake 17 weeks of training, with 503 jobs being added in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, 151 in Queensland, 110 in Victoria and Tasmania, 94 in South Australia, and 43 in Western Australia prior to Christmas. The remaining 99 roles will commence in January.

According to Harcourt, 600 CTs are already in training, and 140 have commenced field work.

"These additional resources will also be valuable, especially as we approach the time of the year when extreme weather events can disrupt our customers' services," Harcourt said.

The addition of 1,000 new roles follows Telstra on Monday revealing that it would be axing 53 jobs across its fibre installation design team to be slightly offset by the creation of nine new roles, due to shifting the locale of its design centres.

The roles will be axed in Ballarat, Victoria; Hobart, Tasmania; and Netley, South Australia, with a new centre to open in Victoria.

"We are proposing to reduce the number of locations that deliver the design solutions our field-based staff use to haul and install fibre," a Telstra spokesperson told ZDNet on Monday.

"Currently, this function is performed by people in different locations around Australia, using different processes which result in variations in the standard of work. Instead, we are proposing to create several Design Centres of Excellence which will be complemented by our existing industry partners.

"These centres will adopt a national standard that will help us to reduce process and production variation and deliver better-quality work for our customers."

Australia's incumbent telco last month also confirmed that it is considering cutting 204 jobs in its Global Finance Services business across business intelligence and analytics services, operational billing, credit services, and accounting.

"We constantly review the way we work to simplify our business and remove duplication. These proposed changes would consolidate some work because we are standardise [sic] our reporting and processes," a Telstra spokesperson said at the time, adding that 35 current vacant Services Operations roles could also be removed entirely.

The telecommunications provider is also looking at increasing the volume of work carried out by its local and international partners due to improving customer experience.

"This will mean we are able to service our customers with a 24-hour response," the Telstra spokesperson explained.

"This is not a move we take lightly, and we will consult and work closely with our people on this. We take our responsibility to support employees through this period very seriously, and we absolutely understand the impact announcements like this can have on our employees."

In July, Telstra also confirmed that it would be cutting 326 jobs across its business, saying it would "remove duplication" in its customer service solution, and would "increase slightly the amount of work done by our partners overseas", with work types to be consolidated across Australia and the Philippines.

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