More Ex-Soldiers Take BT Jobs To Roll Out Broadband

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On the command, deploy fibre!

Another 400 BT jobs have been created as Openreach continues its £2.5bn fibre broadband roll-out across the UK – and most are expected to go to engineers who trained in the armed forces.

This is the third time that BT has looked to the armed forces to to fill its engineering vacancies. In May 2011 it revealed it had hired approximately 200 people from the armed forces. And then last October it hired another tranche (520 engineers) – again, including many former military personnel.

Prior to that BT also doubled the number of apprentice positions in order to train up a new generation of telephone engineers.

BT jobs for heroes?

BT said these new hires takes the total number of new engineers recruited in 2012 to over 1,000. Between March 2011 and December 2012 Openreach expects to have recruited 1,650 new engineers, including the 400 announced today.

The installation of fibre optic cabling is a labour intensive process, as witnessed first hand by TechweekEurope in October 2010 when it visited BT’s Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) trial in Bradwell Abbey (a suburb in Milton Keynes).

According to BT, the latest wave of engineering hires will join its mobile workforce that roams across the UK to work on specific areas. This mobile workforce “reacts quickly to changes in service requirements from communications providers and helping tackle peaks in demand for fibre broadband by moving around the country to areas that need attention.”

Recruitment Drive

jeremy hunt bell“This is good news not only for the 400 people who secure one of the new jobs but for the whole of the country,” said Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Media, Olympics and Sport. “BT is creating jobs while rolling-out the digital infrastructure UK businesses need to grow.”

“Digital technology is fundamental to the way we live our lives and the way we do business, which is why we want the UK to have the best and the fastest superfast broadband in Europe by 2015,” Hunt added.

“These are challenging economic times so I’m delighted to be able to recruit these extra engineers. Our engineers are doing a fantastic job keeping the copper network in shape, as well as deploying fibre at breakneck speed, and the new recruits will help us go even further, faster,” said Olivia Garfield, Openreach CEO.

“Fibre broadband will be vital to the future health of the UK,” she added. “It has the potential to transform the economy and help create thousands of jobs. Our engineers are playing a critical role by deploying infrastructure that will underpin the economy for many years to come.”

Openreach said it is liaising with The Career Transition Partnership (CTP) to help facilitate recruitment of the new engineers. The CTP provides career guidance along with training and employment support to those leaving the armed forces.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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