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back to article Young, fun and full of comely tech skills? Then BT needs you!

BT is on the hunt for around 300 freshly qualified science, biz and IT graduates to work in research and development for the telecoms giant, but it might have a tough time finding enough skilled young folk to fill the posts, it has warned. The company is hoping to recruit a further 730 bods to take on apprenticeships in …

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Anonymous Coward

Ha Ha ha

This from the company that replaced many of their IT staff with cheap intra company transfers from India (remember Tech Mahindra?).

They had their chance to keep loyal local staff and instead shafted them, it's a bit much for them to bleat about lack of skilled staff when they cut graduate programs, and also imported cheap staff from abroad to replace existing jobs.

Who's going to trust them now?

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Re: Ha Ha ha

"Who's going to trust them now?"

Those to young to remember this, too naive to think it won't happen to them and those desperate for any sort of work...someone like a graduate?

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Re: Ha Ha ha

> " .. remember Tech Mahindra?"

Only too well!

***shudder***

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Anonymous Coward

The worm has turned

When I worked for BT a few years back they were laying off people in BT Research as quickly as possible. Many of them ended up "on the bench" which was not a good place to be.

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Re: The worm has turned

The Bench-- I remember that.

It was engineeering staff as well, I was a wanderer for about seven years while the company was in turmoil after '92. I didn't mind it too much as I was getting paid for going from one team to the next but always within reach of home in London by bike.

I met an old line manager once, the standard "What the fuck are you doing here?" greetings were exchanged and it turned out he was back pretty much doing the same as before but getting three times the dosh as he was now working for an agency.

I had one manager that was on the bench -- complete wreck, not knowing if he had a job or not from one day to the next but still chained to BT.

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe they should widen their search to include mere mortals then, not just "graduates"

Based on my experience of graduates employed by the IT arm of A Large French Defence Company(tm) the graduates they employ will turn into 300 shit Project Managers who don't really add value to anything?

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Pirate

Now, now

Of course they'll add value. They'll be taught at great length how to assemble labyrinthine plans in Microsoft Project (based on the BT-standard assumption that nine women can produce a baby in one month), learn the art of ignoring input from their teams (known as consultation) and become experts at PowerPoint (after the two-week training course, naturally).

People skills will include asking 'why haven't you done that yet?' at regular intervals, pulling people off fire-fighting to attend a 'war room' full of nodding suits, automatically saying yes to whatever insane demand the customer comes up with, asserting that because they've got the m-word in their job titles they're right every time and believing because they managed to create a simple website in FrontPage during their first year at uni that they've got stonking great design and development skills.

Advanced skills will include assessing the performance of people whose jobs they know nothing about, setting meaningless and unachievable objectives, learning that someone who is an expert at fibre broadband is also an expert at database architecture and software design because these jobs are all 'technical' and mastering the art of spouting management speak and believing what they say.

BTDT, GTTS and very glad to be out of BT.

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Anonymous Coward

Apprentices aren't grads. In fact grads are effectively precluded from taking apprenticeship roles because then they won't get the government-backed funding for their training. That makes it more difficult to make a business case to employ someone in that role. More to the point they're likely to fuck off as soon as a real grad role comes along, because apprentice pay is naff, and you need an apprentice to stick about 5ish years to make your money back.

Apprenticeships are firmly aimed at school leavers, with the occasional smattering of over-20s uni dropout types thrown into the mix to balance things out.

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Anonymous Coward

Not quite right.

I'm a graduate, in my 20s and a BT apprentice. BT makes up the missing funding from the government out of it's own pocket.

As for the poor pay - that depends on what your job role is - I started on well over the national minimum wage and get a pay rise of 10% of my "final salary" (ie the top line of my pay grade) every October/September on top of a union "cost of living" rise every April time.

I came out of Uni a few years ago with a good (I said good, not great) degree in computing from a very good uni. You go for a job, "Got any experience?". As an apprentice I get another degree, thousands of pounds of training from the software provider in my field and get experience working with a well known "IT" Company not to mention a job at the end of it, pension etc etc etc.

A lot of people don't like BT, fair enough. Apprenticeships have a stigma of poor pay and poor treatment. All I can say is it's been good for me.

There's stuff I wish I didn't have to do but isn't that the same as all jobs?

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Thumb Up

Good on you

Seriously.

I really hope it works out well for you. Some of the most technically-capable people I've ever had the pleasure of working with were at BT. If you're in a technical role, you'll learn a lot and it'll stand you in good stead if/when you decide to move on.

Just don't fall into the trap of thinking that the BT management way is the right way; because there's an awful lot of dead wood still there, far too many of whom date back to the GPO days and have risen into management positions by worming their way into dead mens shoes. They're far worse than chocolate teapots; because unlike the teapots, when the heat's on, they show themselves to be incompetent sociopaths through and through, rather than just melting away.

No names, no pack drill, but any ex-BTers reading this will know one or two at least.

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May I suggest some additional tests?

Before they send out the grads into the big wide world.

Q1 - your customer has a faulty line and their premises are open every day of the week except Tuesday. Which day should the engineer not attend because no one will be there?

Q2 - you continue to bill a customer two years after they request the circuit to be ceased. You finally realise your mistake and send the customer a cheque. Do you a) write the correct payee on the cheque or b) the incorrect payee?

Q3 - You tell prospective customers they cannot get Superfast fibre optic broadband even though they already have it. How do you win back the situation?

Q4 - you can't install a line as the postcode given doesn't exist. Even though you already have lines in the building. How do you win back the situation?

Q5 - in order to run new fibre into a building you require a permission to dig form to be signed by the customer. Do you a) email the form blank and expect the customer to guess the details or b) email the form blank so the customer fills it out incorrectly then blame the customer for the delay to the project?

Q6 - you have local planners that know the local network inside out. Do you a) keep them in their role or b) lay them off and centralise the service so the nearest planner works 150 miles away?

Q7 - you employ engineers with years of experience who have good working relationships with their customer base. Do you a) keep them or b) let them go and get inexperienced straight out of college engineers to replace them (not forgetting to train them to sell)

There maybe more but this'll do to start. Anyone care to add?

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Re: May I suggest some additional tests?

My one a few years ago was memorable. "This business has submitted a tariff change request, known as a 'cease and reprovide' in BT-speak since you're moving a line from one bill to another. Do you (a) change the tariff, leaving everything working, or (b) cut off the line, then insist on the customer getting a 'new' line installed a week or two later?"

It's B, of course, and extra credit for screwing up the address on the account and sending the Openreach guy to the wrong building to install the "new" line instead of just reconnecting the old one.

It's nice to see apprenticeships, though - particularly if they're real ones, not just cheap basic labour - and if BT can improve their service later with 1,000 properly trained technical people, that's good too.

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Anonymous Coward

Awww

BT, the worlds only company that gets rid of onshore staff for oversea workers...........Oh wait...... let me rephrase

BT, the worlds only company that will not firestaff like the plague if it has to.....Oh wait....let me rephrase

BT, A company, job for life without worries just like any other company.....Oh wait.......

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Anonymous Coward

Only in the word of Register comments is a company providing 1,000 new IT / tech jobs for young people considered an almost universally bad thing and an ideal opprtunity to attack the company providing them.

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