Job title: Openreach job allocation
Date joined the Reserves: October 2017
Squadron: 81 Royal Signals Squadron
I’m a second year apprentice working in Openreach. I’ve had the opportunity to work in different areas of the business from engineering, allocating the work to engineers and also working on a project. My role in the army reserves is an installation technician which involves building important infrastructure to support the army on operations.
What exactly do you do in Openreach?
I’m a job allocator for the East of England. I look through a large workstack of jobs, make sure they’re ready for a fibre installation and then through a range of systems to essentially book the work in. In addition to this, I’ll go through jobs that have failed – for whatever reason – and try to find alternatives to get customers connected.
The benefits for me have to be learning new skills and continuously improving my current skill set. I’ve found both the army and Openreach have given me a chance to increase my knowledge and learn exciting things since starting with them. They really complement each other and it’s an added bonus that you’re already acquainted with people you’ve met through civilian life such as other engineers who also work with both the army and Openreach.
What are the challenges of being a Reserve, and how do you overcome them?
The main challenge of being a reserve – for me – is finding the balance between civilian work and army reserve work. I enjoy going on training with the army reserves, however I mustn’t forget that my civilian job is very important and to stay on top of my workload.
The military skills my employer sees at work are those of the six core values ‘CDRILS’.
What training have you had as a Reserve and how have you applied this to your current role with Openreach?
I’ll be attending a trade skills course later this year and this will give me enough knowledge to then go on annual camps and work alongside other signallers. The skills that I’ll learn will also be transferable to my current employer so I can lend a hand in a trade role if needed for the benefits of the company.
Does being in the Reserves help with your fitness or general wellbeing?
It definitely gives you more motivation to get fitter. I would say my fitness levels are fairly high. However, when you join the army reserves you realise that there are some extremely fit people and therefore it encourages you to work harder and improve.
How has Openreach helped with your commitment to the Reserves?