Serious Doubts About Fibre / Cabling Jobs “CTTS”

Discussion in 'Jobs (Discussion)' started by Taggs101, Aug 2, 2008.

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  1. Please note this is not a post to have ago at CTTS I’m just trying to give any guys considering re-training a heads-up on the state of the Comms industry.

    Over the past few months I have been trying to decide upon a training course which will add value to my current skills, I’m Cisco qualified with a of number years experience, so I have a pretty good idea how tough the industry is at the moment.

    CTTS caught my eye, good website, decent brochure and had a couple of positive reports on this forum, it appears from their advertising that there is a massive demand for trained fibre / cabling engineers.

    As I mentioned above I know the industry but actually hold the complete opposite view, I have trawled through every recruiting agency to confirm my suspicion that the jobs just aren’t there.

    I also contacted CTTS direct and to give them credit they admitted the same, they did say they expected Fibre To Home to take off next year, personally I can’t see that happening. They also said the DII where installing loads of fibre but strangely they had no vacancies.

    I won’t be investing in any courses until the current slump does an about turn, I would like someone to prove me wrong but I can’t find a demand for engineers here in the UK or abroad.
     
  2. I have to say I agree, Fibre jobs are few, current DII work is in copper, at least the 14 I'm working on are. However...BT looks like pressing ahead with its 21CN project to push Fibre to the home, they have just accepted overhead fibre from trials to replace overhead copper, so I guess its on the cards. Given the share price has fallen 30% in the last month I don't know where the money will come from though. I would point out that as the cost of copper increases, £7000 a ton scrap IIRC! Theft has increased and this has also made fibre more attractive. Question is how many fibre engineers are needed, and how many more will be required?
     
  3. With the rate that BT is pulling out redundant copper trunk cables due to
    A,Maintance costs
    B,Pikeys stealing it
    C,High cost of lead/copper on open market
    I'm working on this project for a contractor in Scotland we are recovering nearly 200 tonnes per week.
    Have a look online for cabling people as well might be some stuff in there
     
  4. Cow

    Cow LE

    I think that the problem is not just with fibre but with all jobs within Telecommunications. When I got to my working unit in '99 people were leaving the R Signals to get Comms jobs which were desperate for manpower, a year later everyone was getting laid off as they weren't needed or didn't have the skills and experience required. Having left 2 years ago, the industry is saturated with people. Experience and qualifications are needed if you are to get a contract, not many people are taking on Perm engineers.

    I work along side BT for some of my jobs and their engineers have been told to show their worth or they've a set period till they're made redundant. Reduction in man power for BT means more contractors being brought in (ex BT employees!), try to get your foot in the door there!

    Jobs are there, you need to know who to speak to to find them and have the right skills and experience that they need. I was going to do a course with CTTS, I booked it, got the book from them but decided that there wasn't the jobs in the Midlands to employe me without me working away from home. I dropped the course and did an IT Course instead (crap but got me a bit of experience and my first job).

    CTTS may or may not be the right way to go, as your doing, research the jobs in the area you want to work in. If your happy working away from home (I wasn't), then you may be ok. You need to be flexible and willing to start on a lower wage than you want, prove your worth, network well and move up the ladder. Sounds easy doesn't it! Took me 2 years to get my ideal job after leaving, once your employeed in the industry you'll start to find out where the real work is without relying on agencies as much.

    Have fun!
     
  5. brettarider

    "Cabling People" is one of the many websites I have checked, if you look under vacancies for Fibre you will see unfortunately that they have none.
     
  6. I am due to go on the 6 week course, guess i shall have to wait and see where it leads
     
  7. Openreach, (BT) are going through some major projects at the moment, Contractors have proved to be too expensive in some areas (20%+ more than direct labour) and customer satisfaction is lower with contractors too. IIRC there is a Joint BT/RSIGNALS liason officer somewhere at Blandford, also why not speak to the guys at 81 Sigs, TA unit made up of engineers from the telecoms industry, I know some of these guys and they might be able give you an insight to what's happening.
     
  8. As whitehouse has said, BT are going to be looking for some fibre engineers very soon. Plus, just because CTTS train you as a fibre/cable/sdh engineer it doesn't mean thats the only vacancies you can apply for. Currently i am employed as a field engineer/installer for biometric equipment and security fire and access. I had never done that before, but the company saw i had relevant quals. Plus i was ex forces which they liked. CTTS courses open up doors to other avenues and not just cabling.
     
  9. 1 more week before i start the course whish me luck, any advice would be welcomed
     
  10. Agree with bombdr2494, I ended up overseeing civils construction and network diversion/new builds going back to it in the next few weeks through doing a cat 5/fibre cse and aprt from a few months last year my resettlement has kept me employed since 1999. Remember that the railways/traffic light compaines are always looking for people as well plus telent and if I can find the link ISO are always looking for people.

    Best of luck with the cse Botty I'm sure you'll enjoy it 8)
     
  11. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    I agree, I trained & worked for NTL first as an Cable TV/Phone & BBand installer then as a Field Service Tech & gained some network experience.
    In 2005,NTL closed our department & went soley contractors just before merging with Telewest.I along with my collegues was made redundent.
    Luckily I was able to walk straight into a job with the contractors Sky employs to install & maintain Sky TV.Sadly tho I dont get on well with heights so I then moved to Sky Broadband.
    Anyway,While I have been unemployed I applied for shed loads of Telecomms jobs & jobs with AV installers and did'nt get anywhere.I heard from a friend that one job had even went before I applied,promised to a relative or friend of the firms manager.
    My old job at NTL (now VM) was advertised before Christmas & I applied,got an interview date & then the whole lot was cancelled till a later date & I still have'nt heard a peep out of them.
    Anyway,I'm now in a Supervisors job with Sainsbury's looking after the online delivery side at the local store.
    Regards
    Spike
     
  12. Over the past few months I have been trying to decide upon a training course which will add value to my current skills, I’m Cisco qualified with a of number years experience, so I have a pretty good idea how tough the industry is at the moment.

    One question Taggs - if you are Cisco qualified what are you doing pursuing a career in cabling. From my point of view that is taking a backward step into the comms world. Cisco engineers usually deal with the kit at the end of the wire - Routers & Switches. I work for BT and any cabling tasks would not be undertaken by Cisco certified personnel.

    If you want to further your skill set then the you should be looking at the latest comms technologies and obtaining the relevant skills. Hint - WAN optimization is currently the latest buzz word in my area.
     
  13. CDT_Dodger, in answer to your question yes I do hold a valid in date CCNA, with nearly 10 years experinec in the contract world.

    I agree with the of point you make that it would be step backward to start pulling cable, however that is not the route I intended to go down.

    The course appears to have two main sections, one being the cabling the second fibre installation and splicing. In previouse contracts that I have been involed in I have dealt closely with both types of engineers, usually ensuring their quality of work, testing etc.

    Firstly, I was hoping to increase my overall technical knowledge and hopefully secure a management position with one of the large cabling compaines. Secondly, having splicing experience would have been handy to have as I have come across splicers in the past that were on very good rates.

    With regards to expanding my networking skills e.g. WAN optimization etc, the problem I have is that in all my previouse contracts I have only dealt with the LAN side, no WAN support at all.

    As you work for BT I’m sure you are well aware how many companies have outsourced support to you guys, and companies that retain their own support are usually unwilling to let a contractor onto their network.

    In case you are wondering what I exactually do, its in the main been auditing and designing LAN’s in the UK and Germany, i.e. site audits both remotly and onsite, type of switches, IOS version, configs, capacity, cabling runs etc. Draw up and new design / implementation plan, order the kit, get additional cabling and cabinets installed, config up the switches (usual vlans, trunks, port settings) test , go-live, handover.

    As you can see its not high level routing but it’s a bit more than terminating a patch lead, however trying to find something similar at the moment is proving very difficult. I see you are from Liverpool, I live on the Wirral and I would be interested to know your thoughts on how you see the industry going and what avenue you would go down if you were me.

    Cheers
     
  14. I am currently serving as an RLC Rad Op and am about to start a Cable and Fibre course with Limbrook Services (counterpart of CTTS). I have just read this thread and am now getting seriously concerned about the wisedom of embarking into civvy street with this qualification.

    I have no experience in the cabling world and am unsure as to how employers will respond to someone with only a paper qualification.

    I have spoken to Limbrook Services yesterday and they are confident that my chances of employment are good following the course.

    Can any of the sigs community still in, or those that have jumped the fence shed some light on whether or not I stand a chance in the big shark infested pond outside with this qualification???????????
     
  15. Well Taggs - you certainly possess the necessary skills and experience to progress technically within the comms world. You appear to have a solid foundation on which to build your networking knowledge and the next obvious step would be to gain experience on the WAN side.

    Personally Taggs I wouldn’t go down the cabling route but stick with pursuing a data comms role. I would suggest aiming for a permanent role and escaping from the clutches of contracting. Yes, contracting can be good to you at times but as I know, it can have dry periods too. I contracted for a couple of years (after I just completed my 12yrs in green) then was kept on by a company I contracted for. I was doing exactly what you describe in your post with this one contract. I picked up on what others were doing around me, pestering the CCIE's, gaining customer knowledge etc.. I gained that much info that my employer decided it would be a waste to let me go due to what I had picked up about that particular network. From there I got into network management and was managing the WAN on a number of customer sites. In my case it was getting that lucky contract.

    You know, with your CCNA you should not have any problems finding a permanent role with a comms company. The company above that took me on would gladly take CCNA's without any experience due to cisco accreditation figures. They had to have x amount of cisco engineers on their books in order to gain cisco silver/gold partner accreditation so they would employ engineers with no experience. And then a few years ago BT bought us over and that’s were I am now.

    Although my profile states Liverpool as my location I actually work in Belfast as part of BT Ireland. Met a Belfast bird many tours ago so settled down here. What I can do is have a trawl on the BT internal job board for anything of interest for the North West area and contact you by PM. Always glad to help a one of the lads.

    By the way - I was infantry and not sigs but completed the necessary courses etc.. and I was pretty confident in interviews.

    Employee: Any relevant experience with comms, computers etc....

    Me: Yes, extensive knowledge of encrypted communication systems (Cougar radio) and administration duties on secure server environment (UNICOM).

    Bollocks I know but it worked for me and enabled me to get my foot in the door. Once in you pick up and learn on the job but you are always competing with graduates for positions and they can turn out to be right oxygen thieves at times.