Telecoms firm plans to open three academies to train 1,000 recruits a year

Doug Ward

A telecoms services provider has announced plans for three training academies that could handle up to 1,000 recruits a year.

The drive is to help improve the UK’s internet infrastructure which has come under increasing pressure during the coronavirus lockdown.

SDH Project Services, the telecoms and infrastructure company based in Brighouse, Yorkshire, which was recently acquired by Manchester’s Telcom Group, is behind the plans that it claims will revolutionise the country’s internet provision.

It says Britain has struggled, so far, to provide broadband speeds that are on a par with our European neighbours.

The challenge has become even more acute during the coronavirus lockdown.

With so many people currently either working from home or furloughed, the internet has become a lifeline like never before.

There are huge increases in the amount of data being consumed from residential addresses and, naturally, a huge decrease in the data being used in commercial properties.

SDH argues the UK’s internet infrastructure wasn’t built for this.

The additional challenge that Britain faces is a lack of a skilled workforce in this sector of the telcom construction industry, and SDH plans to change this by recruiting people – even those with little or no previous qualifications – and train up to 1,000 construction workers within the first year.

The first academy will be based in Hartlepool, with plans to open a further two in the Leeds/Bradford area and Manchester in the coming months.

Doug Ward, SDH Project Services chief executive, said: “Given the restricted travel, the UK has a unique opportunity to train the next generation of construction workers.

“We want to create a team that can help us upgrade the British internet system to make it worthy of a forward-thinking country like ours.

“Our vision creates better jobs, better infrastructure and a better Britain.”

He added: “There are a lot of people who have suddenly found themselves lost and without a job. Our course will allow people to take pride in building a new career with real promotion and management prospects.

“We believe it will particularly appeal to ex-servicemen and women, who have already demonstrated that they are capable of teamwork, an important quality needed for this sector of the construction industry.”

Subject to lockdown restrictions, SDH hopes to have the first recruits through the door by the end of May.

The courses will range from two, to nine weeks, depending on the level required.