Telstra Lismore Jobs Market at the Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre.
Telstra Lismore Jobs Market at the Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre. Cathy Adams

Telstra workers call it a day

TELSTRA's Goonellabah call centre workers will be walking out of the centre for the last time at 5pm today as the facility is shut down, just two months after the telco announced the closure.

It's been a rough ride for the centre's 116 workers, who throughout the process had declined to be interviewed for fear of losing their redundancy packages.

But early signs from last Thursday's jobs fair are promising, with several of the 88 Telstra staff who attended the event indicating they were already looking at transitioning into new careers via jobs or further study.

Jobs fair event organizer Samantha Muller said feedback from job seekers and employers was overwhelmingly positive, with some employers so impressed with the quality of candidates they had expanded their available full-time positions.

Opportunities available to job seekers included customer service, administration, and aged care.

However, Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell said, despite the positive news from the jobs' market, Telstra still should never have closed the call centre, describing it as a 'PR disaster' for the company.

"The bottom line is this should not have happened. There were no financial reasons for this to happen," she said.

Cr Dowell argued the Goonellabah facility could have been expanded and more jobs created, but Telstra chose to pursue 'convenience' rather than a 'strong business case'.

With the apparent success of the jobs market, funded with a $55,000 contribution from Telstra, Cr Dowell said she would like to see it become an annual event, although who would foot the bill was unclear.



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