A West Midlands family is living proof of the benefits of the saying ‘keeping it in the family’.
Ellie Booth, from north Worcestershire, is the latest in a long line of relatives to opt for a career in communications.
But the 23-year-old, who lives in Alvechurch, broke the run of male family members when she joined Openreach, the network business which is part of BT Group.
Now Ellie, who went to St Augustine’s Catholic High School in Redditch, is encouraging other local women to consider a career in engineering.
She followed in the footsteps of her late grandad Reg – who clocked up around 30 years in the business – as well as two of his nephews, several second cousins, and her dad, Gary, who is based at BT’s main telephone exchange in Station Street, Birmingham.
Ellie, who is based in Worcestershire, joined Openreach as an apprentice around five years ago. Since then she’s worked her way up the career ladder and is now managing a team of engineers across Wolverhampton and Herefordshire, who do everything from installing superfast fibre broadband to fixing phone faults.
She said: “I was attracted by the variety of work and opportunities at Openreach. I’ve been up poles and down holes, and now I’m seeing how new technology like fibre broadband is changing the way people communicate for the better.
“I would strongly recommend a career in communications to other young women, especially if you can go through the apprenticeship route. It enabled me to earn money and gain qualifications at the same time, knowing that at the end of it I would have a full-time position within the company. It is still male-dominated but that shouldn’t put people off.”
Just as Ellie’s dad inspired her career path, his interest was similarly piqued by his own father.
Gary, a fibre planning manager with Openreach, said: “I began as a postal apprentice – or cadet – 31 years ago before moving to BT. That was totally down to my dad.
“I remember him sitting me down and telling me how there’s something coming out called ‘emails’ and the ‘worldwide web’ and how it’s going to allow people to look at things all over the world from a computer, and how exciting it will be – the rest is history.”
More information about career opportunities in Openreach is available from: http://www.btplc.com/Careercentre/careersatbt/openreach/index.htm
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Openreach is Britain’s digital network business.
We’re 30,400 people who connect homes, mobile phone masts, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, broadcasters, governments and businesses - large and small - to the world.
Our mission is to build the best possible network, with the highest quality service, making sure that everyone in Britain can be connected.
We work on behalf of more than 580 communications providers like SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone, and BT, and our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more than 26.5 million premises. We’re also the platform for Britain’s thriving digital economy, which is the largest in the G20.
We’re working hard to give people the speeds they need to run and enjoy their daily lives. Over the last decade, we’ve invested more than £11 billion into our network and we now manage more than 158 million kilometres of cable stretching from Scotland to Cornwall, from Wales to the east coast. And we’re continuing to take that network further - making superfast broadband speeds available to thousands more homes and businesses every week.
Openreach is a wholly owned and independently governed division of the BT Group, and it is a highly regulated business, with more than 90 per cent of our revenues generated from services that are regulated by Ofcom.
Any company can access our products under exactly the same prices, terms and conditions.
For the year ended 31 March 2017, we reported revenues of £5.1bn.
For more information, visitopenreach.co.uk