Skills supply could affect NBN's roll-out

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Skills supply could affect NBN's roll-out

NBN Co chief Mike Quigley highlighted the prospect of running short of qualified engineers and contractors as one of his top concerns as he unveiled the company's business plan yesterday.

According to NBN Co's "Corporate Plan", a skills shortage could severely hamper its forecasted full fibre deployment rate of almost 6,000 premises passed per day in FY2014.

"A significant risk to achieving this planned rate, and hence, the volume deployment plan, is a possible economy-wide shortage of available construction resources at an acceptable cost," NBN Co stated.

Since a shortage would be driven by the overall market demand for labour, NBN Co planned to "work with the training industry to ameliorate the impacts of possible labour shortages".

It planned to ensure that the suppliers of its active equipment and supporting systems for the fibre, wireless and satellite networks would meet demanding technical specifications and performance standards.

NBN Co also would ensure that installation teams were trained and monitored. It planned to support accreditation of its staff and contractors by arranging training required to operate and maintain the network.

"All installation resources will be required to have appropriate regulated and NBN Co specific verified accreditation to perform the specific installation functions required of them," according to the plan.

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