Anyone in the wireless sector understands how critical good workforce development programs are to the success and growth of a business. Without the latest and greatest training, companies and their workforces may be bypassed with it comes to the eventual roll out of new mobile networks.
5G, according to an Accenture study, could create 3 million new jobs in the United States. Our workforce just isn’t big enough and doesn’t have the skills it needs to fill these positions.
Over the next three years, some experts predict there will be a 60 percent labor shortage in the wireless industry. That translates into thousands of jobs that could go unfilled and dramatic increases in labor costs – which we’re already beginning to see.
Wireless jobs are changing and they are changing incredibly fast. The experts say almost 40 percent of companies report that they have a hard time filling positions because the applicants just don’t have the skills they need.
A recent white paper published by WIA’s Innovation and Technology Committee correctly asserts that government and industry should work together to develop training and educational programs to draw workers to the industry, and to provide the advanced skills the industry needs as wireless demand grows to improve the safety and quality of deployments. (Download the white paper here.)
Our first offering takes place tomorrow in the form of an online professional development program called Workforce Wednesday. (The courses will be offered on select Wednesdays throughout the year.) Online enrollment is open and can be found here.
TEC courses currently offered include Wireless 101; DAS and Small Cells; Macrosite Fundamentals; and 5G Outlook. TEC courses also can be customized to meet organization-specific onboarding, professional development and training needs.
We worked directly with industry experts to develop the courses and the manner in which those courses will be delivered.
TEC Was Created By Industry, For Industry
At its core, TEC is a dynamic learning program and online portal devoted to improving education, quality of work standards, and safety within the telecommunications industry. TEC was developed by WIA with help from academia, subject matter experts, and members. We also partnered with Virginia State University to pilot the program and we work closely with the Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP), the U.S. Department of Labor, and the FCC to provide applicable contact hours earned with course and training completion.
TIRAP is a joint venture of telecommunications companies, industry associations and DOL that develops credentialed apprenticeship programs available to qualified employers.
The goal of TIRAP and of TEC is to improve career development opportunities for members of the telecommunications workforce.
TEC is the first initiative of its kind. Nobody else is doing this kind of targeted wireless infrastructure programming.
In addition to Workforce Wednesdays, TEC will provide a host of other professional development and training programs designed to empower individuals and strengthen companies.
Our goal at WIA remains to serve our members and the entire wireless ecosystem.