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BT Openreach Recruits 42 New UK Engineers in the South West

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013 (1:25 pm) - Score 2,038

BTOpenreach has announced the addition of 42 new “high-speed fibre broadband” telecoms engineers to serve areas including Exeter, Taunton, Plymouth, Bristol and Salisbury in England.

The successful applicants, whom will help to build BT’s national FTTC/P superfast broadband network, include mature ex-armed forces personnel and young people in their teens and early 20s. All are apparently being offered 18-month fixed term contracts, once they complete an initial five-week training program that is.

Jon Reynolds, BT South West Regional Director, said:

We have been impressed by the high standard of our latest recruits, who come from a wide range of backgrounds and careers. They have shown a great enthusiasm for the work and the huge benefits this exciting technology is bringing to the South West.

It’s skilled, interesting work which will give the successful recruits the chance to gain experience in a fast-paced, constantly evolving industry. They’ll be at the forefront of connecting communities to the future.

Faster fibre broadband is providing a major boost for households and businesses across the region whether they are using this exciting technology to attract new customers, improve education and skills or browsing the internet for leisure and entertainment purposes.”

The latest jobs are in addition to the 1,000 new UK jobs announced by Openreach earlier this year.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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39 Responses
  1. Phil says:

    teens and early 20s are probably not mature enough.

    1. Ignitionnet says:

      Hope an engineer that age comes to your house to install your SFBB, then you can tell them that in person as you, presumably, turn them away and wait for someone older.

    2. CrazyLazy says:

      He has a point to an extent…
      “…include mature ex-armed forces personnel and young people in their teens and early 20s…”

      They could not had picked a more opposing bunch if they tried. If any 2 groups are likely to blame each other for poor work those are probably it.

      Not to classify each group all with the same brush but at face value i imagine a few truly mature ex-army will see the teens and 20’s lot as lazy, rude and ignorant, while the the teens and 20’s will see the ex-army as old, grumpy and slow.

    3. Mark Jackson says:

      Most people grow out of that after School. If somebody takes juvenile behaviour into adulthood then they won’t go very far in life.

    4. FibreFred says:

      What a shocking set of comments!

    5. CrazyLazy says:

      Was not meant as derogatory towards any group of individuals by myself, was just pointing out what thoughts may be harnessed towards each other at face value without even coming into contact. Much in the same way i am sure fully qualified engineers and even us user bash contractor FTTC installs even though i am sure there are some contractors that do a high quality job.
      Taboos often stick no matter how politically correct we all care to think we are in this day and age.

    6. RyanT says:

      The best engineers are the young engineers I’ve had… they listen a lot more than your normal typical older engineer I find. They also seem to be more motivated than person who’s been in the business for 20/30/40 odd years.

    7. Ignitionnet says:

      It should be remembered that Phil is the guy who says he will only allow an FTTC install by a direct Open reach employee and will complain if a contractor arrives.

      Just putting some context in.

    8. CrazyLazy says:

      To be fair it is not him that only has a problem with contractor installs, even some of BTs own biggest fans on sites like these have spoke out against that practice. I am sure some of them do a great job, but as said before taboo is hard to break.

  2. finaldest says:

    These age groups are somewhat ideal. Ex forces personnel will have valuable skills which can be passed down to the younger folks. These new staff members would be required to have the relevant skills so customers need not worry.

    Not all younger folk go out and get smashed and trash the place every weekend unlike a lot of older folks. Stereotyping people into categories is not very mature.

    Congrats to BT for taking on more staff during these difficult economic times and well done to all those who got accepted.

    1. Bob2002 says:

      >Stereotyping people into categories is not very mature.

      I suggest you find a chart comparing criminal offences committed vs age of criminal. There is a massive bias towards people in their teens and 20s, and the older you get the less chance of a criminal offence being committed.

      Obviously I’m not saying all youngsters are criminals but that there are, for instance, age ranges were certain types of immature behaviour are more common.

    2. Ignitionnet says:

      I take it that you think it’s purely an age thing and nothing at all to do with the appalling level of youth unemployment?

    3. Bob2002 says:


      You can search yourself for “age crime curve”(or similar) which is not some recent idea related to the current economic downtown. Criminality was not my main point, simply that people in different age groups often behave differently.

    4. CrazyLazy says:

      Ageism is not a ‘ism’ if you can demonstrate what you are stating about an age group is true.

      If i say an engineer over 60 is more likely to suffer from joint pain due to all the crawling about and climbing poles the job entails that is not ageism that is just getting old.

      Unless you are going to argue the bones and joints in someone over 60 are typically just as fresh and strong as someone 20. In which case medical journals have taught doctors nothing.

      There is too much of this crap nowadays of covering everyone in bubble wrap and pretending we are all equal. We are not all equal. Fat is Fat, thin is thin, old is old, young is young.

      There is too much of this Americanised political correctness dross. All age groups have positives and negatives to any profession, they are not equal. I highly doubt i am as fit as i was 20 years ago, and that is not because i am lazy its because i am older. I for one do not want the cotton wool mob wrapping me, patting my head and telling me im equal to what i was 20 years ago or anyone who is 20 years younger. I ain’t.

    5. Ignitionnet says:

      Youth unemployment is not some new phenomenon, Bob, it’s merely gotten worse recently.

      Perhaps you could find the nature of those crimes and let me know their severity. I suspect most of the discrepancy is explained by nothing more than unsociable behaviour and pretty petty crimes in the grand scheme.

      The really serious stuff is usually perpetrated by those somewhat older.

    6. Bob2002 says:

      @Ignitionnet –

      Here is a link, from Nature, again showing the age-crime curve –


      The age-crime curve is apparently one of the least contested issues in criminology, including across different time periods, populations.

  3. Phil says:

    BT probably hired teens and early 20s because of lower pay minimum wages to them with lower bonus. I think it very sad as BT kept axed lots of mature middle age ex-BT engineer like Geoff himself here: http://openreachengineer.com/my-background/

    1. FibreFred says:

      Looks like he left (not axed) according to his site

    2. CrazyLazy says:

      BT engineers get paid the minimum wage??? If that is true im not shocked they often fail to turn up or do a poor job.

    3. Ignitionnet says:

      You are unfortunate enough to be disabled hence unable to work and lacking life experience in many ways.

      There is no way unions would stand by while employers wholesale made older employees redundant in order to pay less to younger and less experienced staff.

      Moreover such actions would be illegal.

    4. CrazyLazy says:

      Doesn’t the rate BT pay its staff vary depending on location? How come the union has not rebelled against that?

    5. Ignitionnet says:

      Costs of living are different depending on where in the country you are? There’s a legitimate explanation for it in that instance, which is quite different from firing staff so that you can pay newbies less.

    6. CrazyLazy says:

      So BT discriminate rate of pay to their staff depending on where they live which you have no issues with, but anyone that has an opinion on what age group engineers they prefer you have a major problem with. Is that correct?

    7. FibreFred says:

      I find your last response odd crazy , Salarys vary across the country for lots of jobs e.g you would expect a job in London to pay more as the cost of living is higher

    8. CrazyLazy says:

      Oh no, i agree, depending on where you live, costs of living vary. As i said we are NOT all equal.

      That is the point. If a company pays you a different wage depending on where you live that is not equality. It might be fair but to coin the political correctness mob it is not EQUAL.

      You can not say on one hand you embrace all age groups, genders and your work force as a whole etc and they should all be treated equal with no hint of ageism or anything else and then on the other say we will just pay you all differently. That is not equal. That is almost maddness harks back to the days of sexism when male and females got paid differently (i supose in a way that still happens also).

      You either have equality in your organisation or you do not. To then bash people as they have a view on the age groups employed is bordering on hypocrisy.

      Its not just pay either. I highly doubt BT workers in call centres in India have the same rights as the very few that are still in the UK. I may be wrong but even if its rules about time off i would be willing to bet they differ.

      It sickens me when people get on their moral horse and attack others accusing them of things like ageism when the organisation concerned if you scratch the surface are far from “equal” in their employment of people.

      That does not go just for BT either my view would be the same no matter what organisation this was about.

      SO enough of this “oh there are evil people that prefer young to old or old to young employees on the internet” and hinting they are being ageist or other crap.

  4. GNewton says:

    A step in the right direction. However, this is far from sufficent to speed up nextgen broadband deployment, nor does it solve BT’s overall poor customer services.

    1. FibreFred says:

      I think you also forgot to add it won’t bring peace to the middle east or solve the increased reliance on food banks in the UK 😉

    2. GNewton says:

      FibreFred, you truly are a troll on this forum!

    3. FibreFred says:

      Its actually called sarcasm.

      Your own post was trolling, expecting 42 new engineers to speed up the nextgen rollout (which is ahead of schedule) and for those 42 engineers to also have an impact on overall customer service.

      A trolling post if I ever saw one.

    4. GNewton says:

      FibreFred, you are a troll here.

      It doesn’t even occur to you that more BT engineers in the field could result in better customer experience, e.g. fewer missed appointments, faster deployments, better maintenance schedules etc. Your sarcasm and lack of understanding in telecom or IT matters has become apparent again here, makes you look like a BT dummy.

    5. FibreFred says:

      Troll, could you explain how the 42 new recruits could have an impact on your overall complaints?

      I work in the IT industry have done for many years

    6. FibreFred says:

      And just to add your total contradiction of yourself. You said it won’t have any effect on your complaints and then follow on by saying it could.

      You might want to try sit on a side of the fence before posting?

    7. JNeuhoff says:

      @GNewton: When you try to reason with a troll, he wins. When you insult a troll, he wins. When you scream at a troll, he wins. The only thing that trolls can’t handle is being ignored. It is futile to try to “cure” a troll of his BT obsession.

      Anyway, coming back to the subject: I agree, BT’s hiring more engineers is a good action and hopefully will help to improve BTs performance, thus contributing to a better customer experience with this company or any 3rd party service using Openreach.

    8. FibreFred says:

      So you are now disagreeing with yourself? (your original posting) albeit a different id

    9. GNewton says:

      @JNeuhoff: The only thing I have to disagree with you is this: I don’t think adding just 42 new engineers will have a big impact in nextgen broadband rollout in the South West, though it’s better than nothing. Let’s see what the new year will bring.

      As regards that troll: Yeah, I’ll just ignore him from now on 🙂

  5. dragoneast says:

    I never cease to be amazed by the amount of prejudice in the UK. And even more so by the lengths people go to try and justify it.

    1. CrazyLazy says:

      I never cease to be amazed people throw around words they do not know the meaning of…

      “…preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.”

      So using your logic i should say a BT engineer or 20 years is just as good or useless (i do not want to give a preconceived opinion 😉 ) as one fresh out of training school. They are both equally as good or bad as each other. Experience and how many years experience has nothing to do with things.

      Does that make you happier now?

  6. TheFacts says:

    Strange how some positive information about employing young people is turned negative by some here. What about the thousands of people studying and training to be the engineers, scientists and doctors etc. of tomorrow?

    1. CrazyLazy says:

      “…Strange how some positive information about employing young people is turned negative by some here. What about the thousands of people studying and training to be the engineers, scientists and doctors etc. of tomorrow?”

      LOL and that is your problem. Nobody is being negative from what i saw just gave there opinion on what age they would prefer. Its no different to all the organisations that would sooner take on retired or semi-retired (read as old) people due to their experience. Are all those organisations ageist for not employing the young also????

      Equality in this world no matter how much some would like to try and cram it down our throats or accuse people of this that and the other, rarely exists in a pure unmolested and 100% honest form.

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