RFUANZ report: training update
By David Johnston, Vice-Chairman
Monday, 02 October, 2023
The Radio Frequency Users Association (RFUANZ) has identified for some years that the telecommunications industry is rapidly moving towards a crisis in the availability of skilled radio technicians. A lack of any formal training pathway for new or current staff in the industry and the high percentage of existing technicians and engineers approaching retirement age is likely to cause a severe shortage in the next few years. This was made more apparent due to the inability to recruit staff from overseas during the recent COVID lockdowns.
What RFUANZ wanted to see was a foundation course for new people entering the workforce or existing staff with no formal training who wanted to gain a qualification. With this in mind, RFUANZ has been supporting industry training provider E-tec in the development of a Level 4 NZQA qualification suitable for training radio technicians for the radio industry.
E-tec has now developed the New Zealand Certificate in Customer Premises Systems (Level 4) Wireless Systems Strand, with the following course overview:
- How to install, maintain and repair cabling, electronic communication equipment and devices for wireless systems.
- How to install, maintain, diagnose and repair wireless networking, wireless telemetry and control applications, such as GPS, two-way radio communications, satellite communications and broadcasting communications systems.
- How to install and maintain radio wireless systems, such as broadcasting systems, two-way radio systems, cellular communication systems, RF ID systems and telemetry monitoring systems.
- How to interpret electronic design systems.
- How to connect with telecommunication services.
- Knowledge of radio frequency legislation and standards.
- Technical knowledge of computer network engineering and networking infrastructure principles.
- How to identify and mitigate interference in wireless systems.
We understand that one training solution won’t solve all the training issues affecting our industry but are confident that this course will become the new default qualification requirement for companies looking for staff in the coming years. The challenge for RFUANZ and industry (including government) is to build on this start and continue to develop a pathway that can take a school leaver and over time turn them into a highly skilled radio engineer.
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