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Brazil’s ICT labor market: As telecom market heats up, demand for professionals increases

The Brazilian telecommunications market is heating up, boosted by data consumption growth and the start of LTE implementation, and it is having a direct effect on the labor market. More professionals are needed. However, like the shortage in the IT sector, telecom companies may face difficulty in hiring both entry-level professionals and engineers, although the major concern is at the ground level.

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“The telecom sector has lost a lot of professionals to the construction industry, when that market was booming,” Eduardo Levy, executive director of SindiTelebrasil, the National Union of Telephone Companies and Service Mobile Phones and Personnel, told RCR Wireless News. This loss of workers caused a shortage of professionals who can work on site installations, such as for cable deployments.

Together, the telecommunications boom and the migration of professionals to the construction industry have concerned the entire sector, especially since service demand is growing. For instance, broadband service demand is increasing at the rate of one new access per second. In addition, Brazilian carriers have started LTE deploymentaccording to the spectrum auction rules, they have to provide LTE services to all cities that will host the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup by April.

“Those facts create an additional demand for several positions and skills,” said Levy, noting there is a high demand for network planning professionals and workers skilled in antenna installation. Levy forecasted that 9,566 antennas need to be deployed.

SindiTelebrasil did not have statistics on how many vacant positions are currently open, but the association is concerned about the need to train people to meet future demand.

Currently, the employees in highest demand are professionals who know how to project and implement radio frequency, and those with expertise in deploying fiber optic (FTTx). In addition, engineers are needed who specialize in projecting and monitoring telecom projects, as well as more technicians for field services.

“Today’s situation points to the shortage of professionals, mostly in entry-level positions and technicians. The government is aware of the need to train and qualify more technicians,” Levy said.

Levy highlighted two main government initiatives that are promoting training: the PlanSeQ and the Pronatec program, which aims to improve human resources. “We will train about 22,000 entry-level workers in 2013 with PlanSeQ and tens of thousands of people through Pronatec. About 70% of the total trained workers may be absorbed by telecom market,” Levy forecasted.

Note: This story is part of an RCR Wireless News series on the Brazilian labor market.

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