BT is set to bolster its current workforce by recruiting up to 250 further engineers from service personnel who are already committed to leaving the Armed Forces. Openreach, BT’s local access network business, has previously recruited more than 800 engineers from ex-Forces personnel and the current campaign will see that total rise to more than 1,000.
Serving personnel, who are due to leave the Armed Forces within the next year, have been written to by the MOD’s Career Transition Partnership with an offer to spend three months with Openreach on a civilian attachment. At the end of that period, assuming all criteria are met and if they wish to, they will be able to take up the offer of a new career with Openreach when leaving the Armed Forces. It is hoped that the campaign will prove popular with people who are keen to identify and get started on a future career in the private sector.
The successful applicants will support BT’s fibre broadband programme by installing the service in homes and businesses across the UK. Demand for fibre broadband is growing all the time and the engineers will help ensure the business keeps up with that demand.
The second of four 10 day long training courses started today at Openreach’s training academy in Yarnfield Park, Staffordshire, and further courses will run until early November. This will ensure that the first batch of trained engineers from this exciting and novel partnership will start to assist customers from late October onwards.
Liv Garfield, CEO Openreach said: “We have had great success in recruiting talented people with Armed Forces experience in the past so we are delighted to be able to offer these roles to people who are set to leave the Forces. Past recruits have brought great enthusiasm and professionalism with them and I have no doubt the new recruits will as well.
“Fibre will help to spur economic growth and these recruits will be helping to power and drive that recovery.”
Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, Mark Francois, said: “The MOD has a great relationship with BT with more than 800 Service leavers having already taken up posts there, so it is fantastic news that a further 250 posts have been announced today. The vast majority who leave the Armed Forces make full use of the comprehensive resettlement package to facilitate a smooth transition into the civilian workforce, and I’m pleased to say that schemes like the Openreach Work Attachment make that process even easier.”
Culture Secretary Maria Miller said: “The rollout of superfast broadband across the UK is a key factor in generating sustainable economic growth. Today’s announcement is win-win ….BT will benefit greatly from the vast amount of experience, knowledge and skills that these ex-service personnel will bring to the job and the recruits will leave the Armed Forces with a secure future career in the private sector.”
David Duffy, Managing Director Career Transition Partnership (CTP) said: “We are delighted to be working with BT on a further campaign that provides a career path for Service leavers leaving the Armed Forces. Through the fantastic relationship we have developed with Openreach the CTP has gained a real understanding of the needs of the organisation, resulting in a success rate at interview of over 80% for our Service leavers. The response to the offer of a 3 month work attachment has been tremendous and will be invaluable experience for those Service leavers taking part.”
Engineer Dave Smith, who joined Openreach in April 2011 after 24 years in the Army said: “Since joining Openreach I’ve found that it’s very similar to the Military. We work as a team, there is a great work ethos amongst all the engineers and the daily banter is great. The job offers a great variety from day to day and no two jobs are the same, offering a mix of indoor and outdoor work. Also, like the forces, there are chances to progress so if you’re looking to get on within the company there is scope to do so. I have no regrets in joining BT; it’s a fantastic company to work for and wouldn’t hesitate in recommending it to my former colleagues in the Army.”