The top reasons to pursue a career in the telecoms industry

Telecoms industry talent shortage

Millions of people rely on the internet to work, surf, game, stream and engage with others but few of us give much thought to the extraordinary technology that makes it all possible. Hundreds of miles of wires and cables must be installed and maintained to keep us connected, and as the demand for data grows, the network has to expand too.

In fact, the Government is investing billions of pounds in providing fast and reliable broadband connections to more premises in the UK. That has helped to create 15,000 job vacancies in the telecoms industry. So, could a career in this fast-moving sector be right for you?

Read on to find out.

You can learn and work at the same time

People who work in telecoms are putting in place the infrastructure that our digital future will be built on. And yet, having well-developed technical skills is less important at the outset than you might think. Internet service providers offer full training, so you can launch straight into a new career. However, you do need to be willing to learn, and customer service experience, good organisational skills, and attention to detail are also valuable.

According to Chris Sinclair, Principle Telecoms Consultant at Manpower UK: “People often assume they have to be technical experts to work in the telecoms sector. But that is not always the case. Right now, the level of investment in the industry means there are a wide range of opportunities for people who want to provide excellent customer service and are eager to learn and develop new skills.”

There are more opportunities than ever before

The latest generation of broadband services rely on fibre optic cables. Optical fibres are tiny strands of glass or plastic (about the same thickness as a strand of hair) and they can be bound together to form a cable. These cables enable us to transmit large amounts of data over longer distances more quickly than other technologies.

Fibre engineers are required to connect people’s homes or businesses to the rapidly expanding fibre network. They are also required to maintain the existing infrastructure and, potentially, upgrade it over time.

Much of this complex infrastructure is hidden from view so the sector also needs civils operatives who can lay the foundations for the rollout of new technology and maintain or repair the existing ducts.

In both roles, the health and safety of workers is an employer’s primary concern so you will need to have or obtain qualifications that enable you to demonstrate your competence in key areas, for example, your ability to work at height safely.

You can fast-track your career

This sector could be a great choice for people who want to progress their career. Starting salaries are competitive and there is a clear path to follow from trainee to supervisor, or even director and beyond. There are plenty of opportunities for promotion too because of the current skills shortage and demand for new talent.

You will receive the support you need to navigate the sector using our MyPath programme. It provides you with advice, tools, and networking opportunities and points you in the direction of training and development opportunities.

No two days are the same

So, what does a fibre engineer do in a working day? Lance Johnson, Head of Technical, Manpower UK explains: “Some engineers are always on the move. They work on different jobs every day but usually within one area. They could be installing fibre in people’s homes or businesses or troubleshooting problems with existing connections. There is a buddying system to make sure people have access to support, although they also have a reasonable degree of autonomy. And a supervisor oversees all the work in the engineer’s area. There are also office-based roles such as planning and design, finance, administration and more.”

Similarly, civils operatives usually work within an agreed area and their role varies from day-to-day. They could be carrying out groundwork in preparation for new connections or repairing and maintaining the existing infrastructure.

The telecoms industry is evolving

In the past 12 months, we have spent more time online than ever before and the technology that has connected us to goods, services and each other is becoming increasingly important to our way of life and to the UK’s competitiveness and economic development.

Many people with roles in the telecoms sector were classified as key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and there is no indication of a downgrade in the industry’s significance. There are 29 million more properties to connect to the fibre network across the UK, and they span our largest cities and our most remote rural areas.

If you would like to learn more about a career in the telecoms industry, please contact Chris Sinclair.

For all opportunities in the sector, browse our current vacancies.

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