Military Service leavers can use their skills to find a new career in this dynamic industry sector

Military Service leavers can use their skills to find a new career in this dynamic industry sector

By Ed Hanna

Telecommunications are a central part of our lives, from the way we do business to how we socialise with each other. It’s not hard to imagine that this growing industry will continue to become both larger and faster moving. We examine how Military Service leavers can use their skills to find a new career in this dynamic industry sector

By Gary Buswell

Telecommunications is one of the biggest industries in the UK, employing around 1.5 million people across 144,000 workplaces across the country. Advances in technology over the last two decades have turned an already powerful sector into one of the most diverse, competitive and fast-driven industries. Broadband, mobile and wireless technology is now a part of everyday life and the leading telecommunications providers are among our most well-known companies. The industry offers opportunities across a range of disciplines, from engineering to administration.

Skills and experience

Service-leavers have a range of transferable Military skills and experience that make them suitable candidates for a range of telecommunications roles. Telecoms jobs are varied, with some of the more senior and technical roles requiring particular qualifications but many roles place more emphasis on other transferable skills.

Opportunities are available at all levels and you don’t necessarily need to have a technical background. Skills such as leadership, communication, planning and organisation can be used for customer facing roles including project management and technical support. For those that are keen to develop skills for this industry, organisations such as the Careers Transition Partnership offer short course training opportunities in areas such as electrical installation and network planning.

Valuable skills for the sector include:

  • Security
  • IT
  • Business
  • Research and analytical
  • Problem-solving
  • Customer service
  • Team-working
  • Oral communication
  • Ability to use initiative and
  • Work under pressure
  • Organisation

Recruitment opportunities

Telecommunications offers exciting career opportunities to Service-leavers looking for a fresh challenge or who are interested in working with the most up-to-date technology. There are a wide range of jobs with companies working in land-line and mobile communications, and internet and wireless technologies. Around 60% of sector employees work for IT and telecoms companies, with 40% working in similar departments within other industries (e.g. IT in a financial organisation).

A large proportion of the roles available are technical positions, such as engineers and IT-trained professionals who are needed to install, test and maintain products. This is the industry area where there is currently the greatest skills shortage. However, there is a diverse array of non-technical opportunities from entry-level to senior management. Areas of recruitment within the sector include:

  • Human resources
  • Accounting and fi nance
  • Sales and marketing
  • Customer service and
  • Support
  • Managerial and supervisor
  • Positions
  • Network planning
  • Research and development
  • Product design
  • Telecoms security

Most telecommunications roles involve working in a team, either from an office base or out in the field. The majority of jobs are based within the UK, although there are some positions that are based overseas.

Example roles and salaries

The average UK salary in the telecoms industry ranges between £30-45,000 which is well above the national average. Entry-level telecoms jobs pay at around £14-16,000 with the highest salaries at around £80-100,000. Here is a selection of example roles:

Trainee Sales Operative

Duties: engaging new and existing customers; making outbound sales calls and negotiating contracts with customers.
Entry requirements: good understanding of the market, good communication and organisational skills.
Salary: £17,000 – £32,000

Head of Project Delivery for Telecoms Installation
Duties: overseeing delivery of projects, leading on design and implementation, identifying risks and generating regular reports.
Entry requirements: civil engineering qualification and degree-level qualification.
Salary: £50,000 – £70,000

Trainee Network Engineer
Duties: installing, testing and maintaining communications products and services.
Entry requirements: driving licence, good communication skills, maths and English skills and ability to work independently.
Salary: £20,000 – £26,000

Human Resource Business Partner
Duties: leading on organisational people strategy, liaising with key stakeholders and managing various human resource agendas.
Entry requirements: experience of managing teams and delivering strategic goals, experience of working in a fast-paced and dynamic environment.
Salary: £40,000 – £45,000

Major Telecoms Organisations

BT Openreach – the biggest company in the sector in the UK, Openreach controls the local access network which supplies the communications infrastructure to homes and businesses (phone, broadband, data and TV services). The company employs around 32,000 workers all over the UK and is looking to employ a further 3,000 trainee engineers by 2020. Visit: www.openreach.co.uk

Sky UK – the UK’s biggest home entertainment and communications provider, Sky employs over 24,000 people. The company currently has opportunities ranging from traineeships to senior technical roles. Visit: https://careers.sky.com/

Vodafone – one of the leading mobile communications providers worldwide with around 19 million customers and 8,000 employees in the UK. Vodafone has hosted recruitment events aimed at attracting Service leavers and offers roles such as project manager, business development manager and technical operative. Visit: careers.vodafone.co.uk

Fujitsu – Japanese multinational company specialising in secure IT and telecoms services for Military organisations, government departments and intelligence agencies. Fujitsu has worked closely with the Ministry of Defence and knows the skills ex-Forces personnel can bring to roles. The company offers both entry-level and qualified professional roles. Visit: www.fujitsu.com/uk

Dell – US company providing IT hardware and software. Dell has a strong base in the UK and is one of the biggest providers of laptops and PCs. They are an active recruiter of ex-Military staff worldwide. Visit: jobs.dell.com

WhatsApp – one of the fastest-growing telecommunications companies, WhatsApp is a cross-platform messaging service based in the US and owned by Facebook. There are job opportunities in areas including software engineering, sales, communications and data analytics in both the US and the UK. Visit: www.whatsapp.com/join

Useful Resources

Careers Transition Partnership – www.ctp.org.uk or tel: 0121 2360058

www.telecommunicationjobs.co.uk – information on current telecom roles

www.telecoms.com – for the latest industry news