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Training of technicians

Fibreco Map
FibreCo Telecommunications

FibreCo’s planned 12,000 km fibre optic network will link major cities and towns across South Africa as well as maximise the opportunities afforded by the massive increase in international bandwidth capacity coming to SA’s shores via undersea cables and allow South African businesses and end-users to fully experience the opportunities created by the rapid advances in voice, video and broadband applications worldwide.

Fibre Optic Technician Training Programme

Building a long-distance fibre optic network is a country-wide infrastructure development project that will have a positive impact on South Africa’s economic growth and social development.

Fibreco Team

In May 2012 at the ground breaking event in Bloemfontein, FibreCo announced its commitment to training at least 200 technicians around the country which will help uplift the level of skills for the maintenance of fibre optic infrastructure in communities close to where its network is located.

In November 2012, FibreCo in association with The DETEA launched its first fibre optic training programme in Bloemfontein. The start of the programme followed a stringent interview process that identified 30 candidates from across the Free State Province, who met the criteria to take on the challenges of the 5 day intensive course on the maintenance of Fibre Optic cables.

The training programme is accredited by the Fibre Optic Association (FOA), whose certification is recognised in the fibre networking industry worldwide. This certification will ensure that trainee candidates are better qualified to apply for the new job opportunities which will arise in the operation and maintenance of the FibreCo’s network and of other fibre networks expanding into the Free State Province.

This is the first of what will be a national rollout of the training programme. FibreCo will run the same process to identify trainees along the entire route of its network between Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

Fibreco Work
Integration of top students

FibreCo’s integration plan is designed to assists the best performing students to source employment or internships. In order to achieve this, FibreCo works closely with its suppliers and other industry players as well as investigating opportunities within its own network operations and maintenance along its route. In order to widen the opportunities for placement of students, FibreCo has partnered with the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), all passing students will be added to TIA’s database.

The first FibreCo training programme had a 97% pass rate. The top students from this programme, most of whom were unemployed and in some cases had no previous work experience are now either employed or in an internship programme. Through this programme students will be mentored, exposed to new skills and gain hands on experience, providing them with a sound foundation to develop their skill-set and experience for future career development.

Progress Report and Development Plan

The fibreCo internship programme is structured to document and map the progress of each intern on a bi-monthly and quarterly basis. This is done by implementing an open dialogue, 2-way discussion with the intern and mentor manager to discuss performance to date, this will identify a gap analysis which in turn will feed into the intern’s development plan.

This working experience will better position interns to qualify for new job opportunities which will arise within the industry in the Free State or across the country. Interns would also be in a position to potentially start their own business, for example, “man in a van” and sub contract fibre optic maintenance.

Figure 2 shows the top performing students and placement status to date. FibreCo’s integration plan is an ongoing process and will continue to source and identify employment and intern opportunities for all successful students from its fibre optic technician training programme.