Deputy News Editor
TelOne has embarked on a restructuring exercise, as it seeks to transform into a digital entity in line with its new strategic thrust of improving business efficiency and competitiveness, the company’s corporate communications head, Mrs Melody Harry, said yesterday.
The company has put 184 employees who hold the Zimbabwe Junior School (ZJC) and Grade 7 as their highest educational qualifications on voluntary retrenchment, while an olive branch has been extended to 238 workers so that they can upgrade their skills.
Mrs Harry said TelOne’s digital transformation journey, which has a special focus on client experience enhancement and provision of new products and services, entails the digitisation of the company’s operations and systems through network upgrade and modernisation.
“For this drive to succeed, relevant skills and qualifications emerged as one of the main priorities. Consequently, the company has taken a position to embark on a realignment programme to terminate the contracts of 184 individuals whose skills set has been rendered redundant as they are no longer compatible with the digitalisation demand in the market and the general global technological trends through a compulsory retrenchment exercise.
“In preparation for this, and to give these individuals an opportunity to upgrade, the following steps were taken; as the skills need became apparent with the NBB (National Broadband Backbone) network modernisation projects, TelOne management requested staff from 2015 on the need to further their education and develop themselves to meet the new requirements.
“The company extended opportunities to employees with more than five Ordinary Levels to take up different courses through the TelOne Centre for Learning. A total number of 422 employees did not take heed of this call to develop themselves, at one point making it a subject of interest during a Parliamentary debate.” Mrs Harry said the TelOne Centre for Learning had facilities created by the company to offer up to date skills that can improve individual capacities and the company’s competitiveness.
Prior to this compulsory exercise, all affected staff members were engaged and offered a voluntary exit package, which they turned down.
TelOne has since followed all the necessary procedures for the compulsory retrenchment exercise, including the engagement of stakeholders such as industry trade unions and TelOne Worker’s Committee.
Mrs Harry said in doing so, TelOne complied with the requirements of the Labour Act.
“TelOne is committed to contribute to employment creation and has since advertised for many positions in response to the new market demands,” she said. “We hope to be able to bring on board versatile young people with relevant skills and capacity to adapt to the ever changing technological space.
“The retrenchment exercise for the affected 184 individuals which began in March is expected to be finalised by 30 April 2021. As part of the process, the affected employees have been advised and the company wishes them well.”