Broadband News

Openreach hire ex-armed forces personnel to install fibre broadband

BT have announced a recruitment programme for ex-armed forces personnel which has so far seen Openreach employ 181 Service leavers out of 202 which were interviewed (a 90% success rate at interview). The new staff will form part of BT's engineering workforce who will help to deploy fibre-based broadband across the country.

"It's fantastic that we've been able to recruit so many ex-armed services personnel. These people have served their country well and so deserve the chance of full-time employment with a generous reward package. They are highly skilled, motivated and disciplined and have experience of complex engineering tasks in challenging environments.

Our 'fast-track' recruitment programme should see the majority of them join us by the end of May and given their experience, we will be able to train them up quickly and get them straight out where we need them.

Olivia Garfield, (CEO) Openreach

Currently around three thousand full time BT engineers are devoted to rolling out BT's fibre-based broadband which will see two-thirds of the country gain access, mainly through fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology, by 2015. Openreach is looking to employ around 200 ex-armed forces personnel in total.

Hopefully this recruitment will help Openreach get on top of its workload as lead times for installs of new lines have been high since October, with some areas reporting a 6 week lead time for a new phoneline installation in January. Openreach hope to have this "back to normal" by June or July.


*Makes metal note not to EVER moan at a BT employee again*

  • JttB
  • over 9 years ago

Imagine the harm they can do to your extremities with a krone tool... shudder...

  • themanstan
  • over 9 years ago

What a great piece of PR by BT. Congrats.
How did we get into the situation where:
-troops on active service receive 'job at risk' letters;
-Brits rescued from Libya by a ship on its way to be scrapped;
-more admirals than ships
-recon provided by planes to be scrapped;
-carriers without places where the builders are increasing the price by £2 billion since the decision to continue;
-not enough pilots to fly planes despite making newly-qualified pilots redundant
-more top brass than qualified pilots
The MoD isn't fit for purpose.

  • musical_uk
  • over 9 years ago

@musical_uk Then go lobby for it to be outsourced and procurement based. Then don't come runnig back here when it turns out a big mess thanks to CEO of Iraq Killing.

  • krazykizza
  • over 9 years ago

Weirdly they are reqruiting these guys in the same areas they have been doing for Openreach Apprentices.

  • krazykizza
  • over 9 years ago

MMM,if they are all added to the amount of other unemployed people then we will see the real total of jobless in this country, things like this the conservatives like to hide from us, no disrespect to ex service men & women, but why do bt think that they will make better engineers than the rest in of us civy street? or have they been persuaded to do this by government perhaps?

  • tommy45
  • over 9 years ago


Maybe they jumped at the chance of recruiting people who have a reputation for being hard-working. Certainly the armed forces people can do with more opportunities outside of the military.

  • camieabz
  • over 9 years ago

I would guess that these are guys/gals that already have had various types of engineering training via the army. They will also, I suspect, have an excellent work ethic - more than can be said for a lot of the younger set these days.

  • wirelesspacman
  • over 9 years ago

Lets hope that organisations other than BT follow suit. Excellent news for ex-armed forces personnel.

  • tcrooks3843
  • over 9 years ago

Is this to ensure that the BT engineers can defend themselves when the customer starts beating them with a baseball bat for not knowing how to do their job?

  • Saltank
  • over 9 years ago

I can't remember the last time BT were this forward thinking. I can only congratulate the decision to apply the skill and discipline of these people to such good commercial use. It's been too long since I felt able to praise the decisions made by BT and I very much hope we will see more of it in the future. Well done.

  • bosie
  • over 9 years ago

Well done BT but we need a lot more employers to think about employing ex-forces people, many of whom are very well qualified technically. There are a lot more redundancies to come - when we leave Afghanistan there will be many thousands more.

  • chis104
  • over 9 years ago

During my career in BT as a Business Analyst I worked alongside two colleagues, both ex-para sergeants, one of them former special forces. Two pleasant & hard-working colleagues I was privileged to work alongside.

Good move, BT - other major employers please follow suit.

  • caterps
  • over 9 years ago


You are correct regards engineering training. Depending on what the trade in the Armed Forces was, a large number of technical people undertake lengthy courses which if successfully completed end up with the award of a civilian qualification. I'm talking about a BSc and the like. Their military qualifications also qualify them for corporate membership of the Engineering Institutes. The range of civilian qualifications also applies to other military trades, not just to Engineering.

  • BCarter
  • over 9 years ago

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