BT to secure assistance from ex-military staff for broadband expansion


Major UK telecommunications network supplier, BT, is recruiting staff from among former military personnel to work on the installation of its high speed broadband fibre-optic cable connections.

Via its network engineering division, Openreach, BT is planning to integrate the ex-service staff into a mobile unit with responsibility for cable installations across the country. The new recruits will work alongside the 3,000 or so full-time specialist engineers currently assigned to the project.

The additional recruitment initiative by BT has been undertaken with a view to completing its target of providing two thirds of UK homes and businesses with the opportunity of accessing high speed broadband capability by 2015.

The project is seen as vital by both BT and the UK government in helping to modernise the country’s infrastructure, and in particular, to help UK businesses compete at an international level. Companies throughout the world have, for example, been shown to benefit significantly from the increased flexibility and reduced phone costs of internet protocol (IP) telephony and business VoIP (voice over internet protocol) – services which depend on high quality broadband connections.

Tracking down the right calibre of ex-servicemen and women has been carried out with the assistance of the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), a specialist redeployment body for ex-service personnel, run by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and career consultants, Right Management.

According to the chief executive officer of Openreach, Olivia Garfield, ex-service personnel have been targeted by BT because they are regarded as ‘highly skilled, motivated and disciplined’, with the proven capability for performing ‘complex engineering tasks in challenging environments’.

In addition, Garfield adds, the former military staff ‘have served their country well and so deserve the chance of full-time employment with a generous reward package’.

The 200 former service personnel planned to be recruited through the scheme are expected to begin work with BT in late May 2011.