back to article Comcast-owned Brit telco Sky to hire 1,000 new staffers, half of them engineers

Sky's broadband and TV arm will hire 1,000 new staff members, half of whom will be engineers. The hires will bump Sky's UK and Ireland employee base to 25,000. The telco currently employs 3,500 engineers to service its circa 13 million customers across the region (PDF page 14). The business will also open a customer contact …

  1. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    25,000 staff. 500 for complaints, 4000 engineers and 20,000 management telling each other how wonderful a job they're doing.

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

      Well, that's Comcast's usual personnel ddistribution for the U.S. Its Britain, so maybe 100 of the 25K will be Health & Safety.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      You forgot that there's one more.... a little old lady named Mary who comes in once a week, usually Wednesday afternoon for an hour or so to handle complaints. She's not be confused with the Glory Road "Fairy Godmother Department" but this one does actually resolve a few customer issues.

  2. Dwarf Silver badge

    They are not engineers

    They simply know which is the pointy end of the drill and which is the sharp end of the screwdriver,

    Proper engineers have qualifications and would not be installing kit in peoples houses. Perhaps the word "installer" or "maintenance technician" are more appropriate.

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: They are not engineers

      I was about to make the same point

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They are not engineers

      Next you'll be telling me my local vision technician is just a window cleaner.

    3. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

      Re: They are not engineers

      Have a dozen upvotes.

    4. Electronics'R'Us Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: They are not engineers

      Well said.

      When I had it installed after I moved, they said an engineer would arrive on <day>; I responded that I would need an installer, not a designer. After a bit of bluster (our installers have to take an engineering course) they eventually asked if I was an engineer and I told them 'Yes - a chartered engineer at that'

      Total silence from the other end.

      Quite amusing really.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They are not engineers

        I had a similar conversation with them. Tried to point out that going on an internal 3 days course on how to climb a ladder and drill a hole did not qualify someone to be an engineer......

        Throughout the conversation I insisted on calling them fitters, which the rep could not comprehend.

      2. Dwarf Silver badge

        Re: They are not engineers


        The reason for the silence is because they didn't know what that meant and it wasn't on their script

        1. vtcodger Silver badge

          Re: They are not engineers

          they didn't know what that meant and it wasn't on their script

          No kidding. I, and my family, have attempted on two occasions to report damaged cable distribution boxes to Comcast. (One smacked by a snowplow, one bent up by my wife's car). We have concluded that there is no way to do so, We are now (thankfully) ex Comcast customers. Our somewhat shaky DSL connection is probably technically inferior to Comcast's cable. But there are intelligent lifeforms at our phone company's offices.

    5. Reg Reader 1

      Re: They are not engineers

      In Canada, Engineers have a University degree, Technologists (like me) have a two or three year, depending on whether you did a job placement College diploma and Technicians have a one year or less course.

      Anyone in Canada claiming to be an Engineer needs to have the degree as being an Engineer brings with it responsibilities not required of the other groups mentioned above.

      1. Electronics'R'Us Silver badge

        Re: They are not engineers

        Interesting; I do not have a degree but I have achieved chartered status (it is possible) and I believe that under the Washington Accord I would have equivalent status in Canada.

        1. Reg Reader 1

          Re: They are not engineers

          My wife, like me is a Technologist, and she decided to join a group of Certified Engineering Technologist (CET) which required her to write a test. I don't know if that's similar to what you did, but here she is still not considered an Engineer.

          I do know that here, many of the Technologist programs are basically the equivalent of the first two years of an Engineering degree. This enables a Technologist to get an engineering degree with only a couple of years at University. Many Universities allow you move your credits directly to the related program. That is very helpful as Community College is often in your own town and the tuition is lower so you can start a degree that way.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They are not engineers

      "They simply know which is the pointy end of the drill and which is the sharp end of the screwdriver"

      So they won't be software "engineers" then.

    7. Alister Silver badge

      Re: They are not engineers

      This is a very recent elitism. You don't have to have a university degree to be called an engineer.

      Telephone installers in the UK have been called engineers for over a century, indeed the whole telephone side of the Post Office in the UK was called the engineering division at one time.

      And locomotive drivers in the US have also been known as engineers for over a century.

      There are many other trades requiring hands on work with tools to which the term engineer could be applied.

      The term software engineer needs to die though.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They are not engineers

        Yes, I doubt that members of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers would be happy to be told they are not engineers.

    8. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: They are not engineers

      They are not engineers

      Of course not. What use would Comcast have for an engineer?

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "But a number of experts have pointed out there is a shortage in the number of skilled engineers – particularly if the government is to meet its ambitious target of full fibre for everyone by 2025."

    Stop that! Introducing reality into a consideration of government targets! What will you get up to next?

  4. tin 2


    "Sky tends to receive some of the fewest consumer complaints, according to Ofcom data"


    cheers el reg, that's made me proper chuckle.

  5. Mage Silver badge

    employs 3,500 engineers to service

    No, they don't.

    Most are not even technicians.

    They know how to drill holes, put plugs on coax, align the dish and swap parts.

    1. SWCD

      Re: employs 3,500 engineers to service

      They know how to drill holes? Maybe a few of them, but not all. Let one loose on my wall a few years back, his blow hole was around 15cm in diameter. Shiney silicon completed the saucer-sized spectacle.

      I suggested he slow down a bit, and for the last part, just stop/start stop/start - gently does it. To prove the advice was sound, I pointed at a couple of holes I'd made for security lights some months before.

      Looked at me like I was an imbecile. Who was I not to want enormous gouges out my walls :-(

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All those extra bods

    will all be so that VM can...

    put in thousands of kerbside Electric Vehicle Charging points. They seem to think that they can distribute lots of current down their ducts and charge all those Electric Cars with expensive electricity (£0.5/kWh).

    The Plugs will not be standard Type 2 but have an extra special notch so that only a VM cable can be used which they'll sell you for £500 a pop.

  7. FozzyBear

    If they're anything like the "engineers" that do the home installs of the NBN in Australia It's is safe to assume they are going to need the extra 500 complaint staff.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sky clearly aiming to be slightly less rubbish than Plusnet.

  9. Aussie Doc Bronze badge


    I don't think that word means what they think it does. Do they have a coat? --->

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get over yourselves

    Jesus there's a lot of prissy self-important twats on here that think Engineer has some sort of hallowed status.

    Not here in the UK it doesn't, and "Telephone Engineer" has been the correct term for over a century.

    Engineers are people who work with tools, to fix and install things, the clue is in the name - "engine".

    People with a degree who sit in offices all day are not engineers, they might have an engineering degree but that's different.

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