Re: Aim low to ensure disappointment@Spiny_Norman
"So, BT are recruiting ex forces people primarily to support this work - are you suggesting they should stop this in favour of 'other' unemployed people?"
Yes and no. The ex-forces people are (in my close experience of forces personnel) resourceful, able and willing to work, and have a range of skills that are in part transferrable. The young unemployed generally speaking have poor qualifications, little or no work experience, and little or no skills. If I'm choosing which unemployed to subsidise, then it makes more sense to focus on those currently with the worst outlook, rather than cherry picking those who have far better skills, experience and initiative to help them find or create work themselves.
Having said that, on a normal contract you won't have the overhead and the skills to do that much training. Which organisation probably is the most experienced at taking raw and inexperienced young people, and getting them to do a skilled job? Probably the military. This doesn't come free, but the potential exists to use both ex-military, existing civilian employees and contractors, and the hard-core unemployed to do a lot of infrastructure work that otherwise won't get done anytime soon.
Not just rural broadband, but things that need doing but currently aren't being done, like bring the water mains up to an acceptable condition so that we don't lose a third of water put into supply. There's a ton of other opportunities in infrastructure that could be addressed, and you could hoover up all the ex-services people and a large tranche of the unemployed and willing to work.
Government do nothing, seeming to think that the young unemployed aren't costing us much, because jobseeker's allowance is diddly squat. But when you factor in the lost tax income from them not being in employment, and the implied pension contribution credit that should be accrued for their life after the retirement age, then each unemployed person is costing the state around £10k a year, even if they don't get the full range of welfare benefits. If they are getting those then you're talking more like £20k a year. Which brings me back to my starting point - slow and unambitious roll out of broadband, whilst people who want to work sit at home and twiddle their thumbs.