Does telco recruitment herald a brighter superfast future?

I reported this morning the findings of a survey by ManPowerGroup that appeared to suggest that the growth in deployment of superfast fibre-optic broadband around the UK was directly responsible for an upswing in recruitment around the telecoms sector.

Actually, telecoms and media recruitment in the first five months of the year was up 17%, almost 10% above the national average, claimed ManPower.

ManPower hit up just over 2,100 UK employers for its regular – and well-respected – Employment Outlook Survey, and while these sorts of surveys are ten a penny these days, the comments made by its telco and media expert Tobias Mills piqued my interest.

Whilst in certain parts of the country, such as cities and more urban areas, it is relatively straightforward to find workers with the relevant experience and skill levels, they are finding it much more difficult in the more remote corners of the country,” said Mills.

Last week I spent a few hours in the company of local campaign groups and businesses in Oxfordshire, where pure-fibre player Gigaclear is currently rolling out 1 gigabit fibre networks in a number of villages (you can read the feature very soon).

What became clear to me very quickly was a palpable sense of frustration – even anger – at how slow things were moving, largely directed in the direction of BT and the unfit-for-purpose BDUK scheme.

One campaigner spoke of BDUK funding disappearing like a ghost once the scale of the project needed to hook up his community became apparent.

So does this so-called recruitment spike herald movement from the big players in rural areas? I only hope that the trends ManPower has extrapolated from its data points to recruitment of skilled engineers and not telco customer service drones.

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