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Nepotism: 600+ TelOne employees don't have 5 O'levels

by Auxilia Katongomara
21 May 2016 at 21:54hrs | Views
TELONE, the country's oldest telecommunication institution is lagging behind in terms of digital and technology upgrading as only 15 out of its more than 600 workers have five Ordinary Level passes.

The Deputy Minister of Information, Communication, Technology Postal and Courier Services, Win Mlambo, told Parliament on Wednesday that the 15 are leading "on-job" training in the parastatal.

He said a majority of the under-qualified staff were in the technical department. Most of the workers, Deputy Minister Mlambo said, acquired basic technical skills within the company without any formal training.

"TelOne has carried out a skills assessment exercise for the workers who don't have five Ordinary levels," said the deputy minister. "In total, there are 638 employees who don't have five O'Level qualifications with the majority of them being in technical departments."

Deputy Minister Mlambo said those with five O'levels were struggling with business management principles. "On the second part, 15 telecommunications workers with five O'levels are now leading work parties as a result of the 'on-job training' with the other 150 being given the responsibility to do installations and network repairs," he said.

"However, those with five O'levels exposed to the 'on the job training' have been lacking basic understanding of commercial and business management principles and are really struggling."

"With the high level of skills that are now in the country, TelOne can't compete effectively in the market with the low skills base that employees in TelOne have."

Deputy Minister Mlambo acknowledged that while a majority of them have acquired basic technical skills through experience of interacting with the TelOne's old technology such as analogue switches, the new trends in the industry owing to rapid technological changes required up-skilling.

"This up-skilling is digital and IP-based and thus requires Ordinary Level qualifications as a bridge to the relevant training through the TelOne Centre for learning or other institutions."

"Globally and locally, trends are that voice business is on the decline while this market now requires internet and data services," he said. "These services require a certain level of intellect as opposed to fixed voice services of the past which required extensive manual work (installing wires upon poles and digging).

"This requires a high level of skills and it was noted that employees in the technical department who don't have five O'levels were struggling to adapt to the new technologies."

The Deputy Minister told the august house that in 2005, the company approached employees without requisite qualifications to start upgrading themselves, starting with the basic O'level qualifications.

"TelOne further benchmarked its human capital against that of other telecommunications operators such as Econet, Liquid and NetOne, who are leading in the market share for voice and broadband services.

"In view of the above findings, it's incumbent upon TelOne employees to embrace personal development for them to become relevant in the fast paced information and communication technology sector," he said.

Source - the herald