Bharti Airtel, India's second-largest telecom operator, is upskilling the existing workforce to prepare them for a faster 5G rollout. At the same time, the company is hiring fresh talent to add to the 5G workforce. According to an ET report, Airtel's Chief People Officer, Amrita Padda, said that the telco is working towards hiring more women engineers to its fold. The telco is providing women engineers with the flexibility of remote working and the required support, such as helping them set up their workspace at home. This is Airtel's effort to diversify its employee base.
As per the report, Padda further said that nearly 20,000 professionals in the Airtel ecosystem have been trained in the basics of IP technology to help them prepare for the 5G rollout. Airtel is investing extensively in its workforce for 5G rollout and applications through its in-house programmes. Airtel is leveraging 5G Academy and IP Academy, which includes certification courses for employees. These certification courses are CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional) and CCNAA (Cisco Certified Network Associate). The best thing is that these courses are offered to the employees free of cost.
In 2021, Padda and her team identified the gaps which existed in the company related to the 5G rollout and then tried filling those gaps by upskilling employees and making fresh hires. 5G is a completely new technology and a big shift from 4G, which would require the employees to be trained thoroughly in new things.
According to the report, Padda said that both fresh hires and upskilled employees for 5G are expected to go 25% up by the end of the current financial year for Airtel. She also said that there's a war for talent out in the market. This makes sense as Airtel is not the only company trying to rollout out 5G at a rapid pace. Jio is also working on it, and Vodafone Idea (Vi) will also be preparing resources to go aggressive once it starts rolling out 5G.