Thursday, 02 December 2021

UK ISP group takes on the telecom skills shortage

By Total Telecom Staff
Thursday 25 November 21

Lack of skilled people is a major impediment to achieving Government gigabit-broadband targets

Telcom Group who owns ISP brands including ClearFibre, WeFibre and Telcom is aiming to do its bit to address the crisis of skills to build future networks by launching the Telecoms Engineer Bootcamp through their social initiative Recode. The training course is a ‘No cost, no catch…

Telcom Group who owns ISP brands including ClearFibre, WeFibre and Telcom is aiming to do its bit to address the crisis of skills to build future networks by launching the Telecoms Engineer Bootcamp through their social initiative Recode.

The training course is a ‘No cost, no catch, tuition-free training’ 4-week bootcamp with the offer of a job at the end. The scheme focuses on fibre broadband roll-out with graduates of the programme going on to receive further advanced training in specialist tasks such as overhead, surveys, splicing and more.

Shaun Gibson, CEO of Telcom Group said, “Today, the main issue facing all alt-nets across the UK is availability of skilled resources, with a particular emphasis upon telecommunications engineers. There are a limited number of engineers seeking opportunities and intense competition to hire those that are coming out of programmes such as CTTS. This engineer resource constraint means that the industry at large will struggle to increase its output to such a level where it can hope to meet the Government’s gigabit coverage targets without initiatives like the Telecoms Engineer Bootcamp from Recode.”

Most altnets are dependent on third-party contractors for build of infrastructure, so the problem of skills shortages has only been exacerbated by the demise of organisations including Gloucester based Complete Utilities, which blamed the COVID pandemic for it's demise with the loss of 300 jobs, in November and the closure of North Midland Construction (NMCN) in October with losses of around £23M. The closure of these contractors impacted altnets including the Fastershire project where Gigaclear led the rollout and CityFibre.

Kim Barlow, CEO of Pioneer Utilities - another Telcom Group company - said "Through partnering with Recode we’ve successfully managed to build our own teams of well rounded foundational engineering talent, who we’re now able to develop and train in the areas most important to our business such as overhead.”

Exploring the realities and challenges of building fibre and 5G networks in the UK is the main focus of the Project Rollout track at Connected Britain. It returns to London in September 2022 - find out more HERE

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