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back to article Dear Mr Beefy ex-soldier: Your BT needs you

BT wants to enlist tough, muscly ex-armed forces personnel to help the telco roll out faster broadband in the UK. As The Register has previously reported, BT engineers are currently taking up to seven hours to lay cable in BT's ongoing fibre-to-the-premises trial in Milton Keynes. So perhaps the company needs a leg-up, so to …

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Good News

This is a good news story - good to see a major company looking after ex-military personnel. Hopefully, they will challenge / improve processes and not just follow the chain of command...

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Flame

Which army would that be?

I thought the whole point of basic training was to remove any and all urges to "challenge / improve processes and not just follow the chain of command".

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Anonymous Coward

hence

... the comment that it'd be better not to carry on with that approach. However, as someone else pointed out, what are the chances of clear commands from above...

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Troll

They're probably also used to

clear instruction, a chain of command that inspires confidence, and the admiration of the public.

BT, you say?

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Good Grief ....

>>>"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," enthused Openreach boss Olivia Garfield.<<<

Aaaaaah nice old Olivia doing something nice for the ex-squaddies. Did anyone else want to reach for the barf bag? Does she REALLY think that being that patronising makes people believe that they are somehow doing this for THEIR (the ex-military) benefit?

A new high for management quotes with absolutely no sincerity sureley !!

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Go

so?

I'd have jumped at the chance after I got out. It usually acted as a mild negative to most employers so a decent positive approach is a welcome break. Most squaddies have reasonable experience with comms equipment (and I dont mean just rolling out D10 or mashing batteries on PRC351's) so go for it BT!

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No offence intended

it just gets up my nose the way these people constantly bang on like the deal is so much better for the (potential) employees than for the company or like they are doing them a favour.

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Joke

My bet...

They're there to hold a gun to the engineers head and say "Hurry up, you maggot!"

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Nice bit of positive publicity for BT,

at least until someone does them for discrimination - or does knowing how to hold an SA-80, better qualify you as a telecoms engineer?

"Generous reward package"? Not from what I've heard.

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Anonymous Coward

Depends

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does knowing how to hold an SA-80, better qualify you as a telecoms engineer?

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Depends on where you're laying the fibre I guess - Milton Keynes, maybe not, but wait until they have to fight off some brilliant scallies trying to nick the copper*

*yes, from optical cable - I said they were "brilliant" ;)

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In any given enviroment...

A group of forces personnel will do better than roughly equivalently experienced civilians, even if you have to train them from scratch.

The forces encourage (demand, even) a "can do" attitude that doesn't like failure. Give a bunch of forces people a job, and it'll be done if it's possible even if it is a really shitty job. They might complain about it, but they'll complain to each other while doing the job. If the job is actually impossible to achieve then you'll have to give them credit for trying, very, very hard to do it anyway.

"Normal" people complain things are too difficult, employ passive resistance and outright refuse to do stuff. When you take someone out of the forces then they keep their work ethic, and that's what makes them so desirable to employers.

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Anonymous Coward

Nothing New

It's amazing how many of the Openreach engineers I meet are ex forces. And I suspect there is a simple reason for this. There are plenty of people working in comms in the forces so BT are smart enough to realise that these people will need a lot less training than people fresh out of education.

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Troll

If they are installing kit at the Water Easton estate,....

then the sporadic gunfire and foreign languages should make them feel right at home.

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FAIL

Stereotyped me thinks

So ex-forces according to Kelly is ex-army ,beefy and good for nothing but labouring?

I think you should get out of your cosy office in rat-raced London and 'experience' life yourself girl.

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Grenade

Are they expecting ..

.. a shoot-out with Sky cable-layers?

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I doubt it

Sky don't have any cable in the ground.

BT has always been a big ex-forces employer due to the similar corporate cultures (less shooting but still with crap stackers).

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Happy

@Mike 1140

Sky. No. They're using BT ducts (sooner or later)

But Virgin OTOH...

2 Vans.

1 Street

No mercy.

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Go

Stereotyped a little perhaps

but I was the worlds second worst soldier yet I still seem more prepared to "crack on" than my civilian counterparts who shrug and say "no".

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Surprisingly...

...BT haven't thought about recruiting more ex-sergeant majors into their telephone technical support. They'd offer much the same welcoming attitude BT has already perfected when you call to complain.

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Coat

Don't label any switches "Boot"

Enough said.

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Happy

I've been both supervised by and supervised one or two ex forces types.

The supervisor was a bit of a nervy fellow (Ex Army NCO. I forget which army) and I definitely had him down as a candidate for most-likely-to-go-postal-in-the-workplace, despite me being my usual warm hearted self.

Still one must move with the times. Postal services are *so* 20th century.

"Going BT" might soon take on meaning other than returning to their telephone and internet services.

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Saves them all becoming security guards.

If I recall most of the nationalised industries had ex forces hiring policies. I think they stopped that because it was discriminatory.

Good to see employers focusing on the forces again many seem to find the transition to civvy street hard (see figures regarding homelessness etc) so any help would be welcome.

Some of the most sensible and useful colleagues I have known are ex forces (even the submariners who must have been mad). They do what they say they will, are normally completely unfazed in a crisis and don't play politics.

Agree it comes across as patronising but who cares, isn't the message more important? I'd prefer to lose out on a job to an ex forces member than to a cheap ICT import at least they will pay tax in UK.

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Is this news?

As far as I am aware BT are members of the DCP (defence career partnerting) program... So this is part their daily hr activity and has been for some time.. why report it now?

BT Trying to generate more interest in the service rather than who installs it methinks.

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Goodo...

I can't wait for the special forces team to tunnel into my house in a few weeks time and install my BT Infinity. under the stairs please guys, the master socket and power is already there, please connect the CAT5 into the box.

I do hope they go for the stealth entry, I don't fancy having to explain how my front door was blown off to my insurance otherwise.

In hindsight maybe it would be better to hope for ex Royal Engineers.

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ISTR 30% of the homeless are ex-services...

...and if that is the case it may go some way to reducing the problem of people living on the streets.

That said, I get the impression that a lot of ex-services people, especially those that joined up directly after leaving school, come out having zero experience of life outside of an institution and making decisions for themselves. Once the fibre roll-out is complete will they be left to fend for themselves on the streets again?

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Happy

@Mahatma Coat

"That said, I get the impression that a lot of ex-services people, especially those that joined up directly after leaving school, come out having zero experience of life outside of an institution and making decisions for themselves. "

I believe a surprising number join the prison service. They seem to like it.

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Joke

Pay Per View?

So we'll soon be seeing lots of streaming content of beefy blokes "laying pipe"?

Oh and:

"BT Infinity is not currently due to be rolled out in your area."

My area is London, opposite Canary Wharf!

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