PTCL to spend Rs 500mon training of workers
KARACHI: The state-owned Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has sanctioned a sum of Rs500 million for an ambitious training programme tailored to boost the expertise of its employees.
The scheduled schooling plan is likely to be launched from next year, which it says is an effort to gear up for competition in the now deregulated telecom sector.
“The company has allocated Rs500 million to train our employees and we hope we would achieve our target,” said Mashkoor Hussain, Member Business Development PTCL.
“The reason is simple. We have to face severe competition ahead in the wake of the deregulation of the telecom sector,” he said when asked about the reason for launching the training programme.
The company’s 56-year monopoly on land telephone lines ended in December 2002. However, the government announced the telecom deregulation policy in July 2003 enabling private companies to provide telephone services.
Hussain said that the training programme would be launched for both its technical and non-technical staff.”It would be designed for both types (technical and non-technical) of staff members. We are working on the programme and would soon announce it,” he said.
The PTCL’s current workforce consists of 64,000 employees, comprising 56,000 regular and 8,000 contractual employees.
Out of its total workforce, four per cent of its employees are purely technical including engineers, linemen and others.
Hussain observed that the emerging technologies in the telecom sector would need trained and competent manpower, which the company was trying to produce through proper training.
“We would hire foreign expertise if needed. But currently we are designing a programme focussing on telecoms needs with future aspects,” he said.
Established as a public limited company in 1996, PTCL is 88 per cent owned by the government.The company has shown an impressive growth in the past five years and manages a well-developed domestic telecommunication infrastructure of 5 million access lines, nationwide backbone and international communications linked with an entirely digital telecommunications network.
As a result of tariff re-balancing programme initiated by the government in 1997, the cost of long distance and international calls have been significantly reduced in recent years.
Hussain claimed; that the training programme would help the existing staff capable to meet modern technology requirements, while the company would not stop hiring young professionals.
“The training programme would have all the requisite features necessary for making the existing technical staff capable to work with the latest telecom technologies,” he said.
The PTCL this year also posted a 27 per cent rise in its quarterly profit on lower interest payments and increased its revenues from call traffic.
It posted net profits of Rs6.34 billion ($110 million) for the first financial quarter ended September 30, 2003 compared with a profit of Rs4.98 billion in the comparative period, a year-ago.
Source: The news