TAFE NSW will offer Nortel certifications as part of an expanding curriculum aimed at meeting unified communications demand.
It already offers Cisco Networking Academy programs as part of its course delivery.
Relieving general manager of TAFE Business, Susan Hartigan, said Nortel met its criteria and offered another vendor alternative program to colleges.
"This is the first time that Nortel has been considered due to the emphasis on telecommunications and convergence technologies in many newly produced courses by TAFE," she said.
Students undertaking programs in Certificate IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Telecommunications Networks and Diploma of IT (Networking) will be offered the delivery of course material using industry-standard Nortel courseware.
The course also exposed students to actual hardware and technology currently employed in modern telecommunications networks, Hartigan said.
Students successfully completing the Nortel Technology Solutions Academy (NTSA) courseware will be able to sit for the Nortel Certified Technology Specialist (NCTS) - Converged IP Telephony Solutions exam.
Following that, and with other units completed through TAFE, they will be prepared to sit for the Nortel Certified Technology Expert (NCTE) - Converged IP Networks exam.
According to a Nortel spokesperson, if the TAFE or lecturer decides to become a Nortel Proctor then the students can take the certification at the place of study. Alternatively they can go to a pro-metric centre to sit the exam.
Although there are a number of networking and telecommunications vendors offering solutions in unified communications, Hartigan said Nortel stood out.
"In this particular instance, Nortel, which has been a trusted global supplier of traditional telecommunications equipment, has formed strategic alliances with Microsoft and IBM to complement their IP capability," she said. "TAFE has developed a unit in 'VoIP and unified communications' which has (been) catered for by the Nortel courseware."
Hartigan said Nortel would also offer other course materials such as WiMax, IP networking technologies, security and real-time applications networking which are also part of current TAFE NSW courses.
She said many metropolitan and regional colleges had expressed interest in offering the Nortel certification program including various Sydney campuses as well as Wollongong and Dapto to the south of Sydney.
Others were expected to come on-board in the near future, Hartigan said.