What we do
We’ve a highly-trained workforce of circa 3500, 40 + national operational centres, 4 training hubs and a fleet of over 2500 vehicles.
Due to the close working relationship between the two brands and the outstanding performance of our engineers, Kelly Group has had the pleasure of collaborating on many unique projects extending our existing contract with CityFibre.
One of these projects included providing circuits for Coventry’s HMV Empire. As the community stepped on the road to recovery from the global pandemic, they prepared for their first concert after several national lockdowns. In celebration of the iconic British high street retailer marking 100 years since they opened their first store in July 1921, Ed Sheeran performed a free concert at the historic HMV Empire Coventry.
Kelly Group engineers also provided circuits for Coventry’s local Walgrey Hospital, and provided fibre to run the city’s vast network of CCTV cameras. Projects of this nature are completed by highly skilled fibre engineers working on live circuits. Splicing on a live network requires extensive knowledge and experience as banks and other essential businesses use the same joints that cannot afford to lose connection to their network.
The Group currently has three two-man crews working on Coventry’s Urban Traffic Control (UTC) project. These engineers are fully qualified Network Engineers with an in-depth knowledge of the network.
The scope of this specific project includes providing fibre to traffic control signals at pelican crossings by blowing fibre from grey communication boxes to green cabinets. These traffic control signals currently run on a full-fibre connection therefore, traffic lights are in operation while our engineers switch them to the CityFibre network.
A handful of Kelly Group Apprenticeship graduates are involved in the UTC project. Their experience is exceptional as they completed 24 months of work experience on major UK networks. They also received additional training from Paul Beardmore (CityFibre – General Manager) shaping their skills to become fibre experts whose skills and knowledge allows them to splice on live networks.
Our engineers recently commenced work on the Leister PSN (Public Sector Network) for Leister City Council’s police stations and hospitals. Crews started completing dry installs first, as the network was still under construction in January. They are currently connecting these buildings to the live network.
Our team had the pleasure to catch up with Alan Clark a fibre engineer working on the UTC project. He is one of Kelly Group’s apprentices who completed his Unified Communications Technician Apprenticeship Scheme in 2021. He continued to work for Kelly Group as a Fibre Engineer on the CityFibre network and worked hard to master this trade.
“Since your last feature on my apprenticeship journey, the CityFibre contract has been rapidly growing, which opened up new opportunities for me.
I am currently working on projects in Coventry and Leister involving UTC (Urban Traffic Control) and public sector installations at police stations, hospitals, surgeries and even a prison. Working on the premises of a prison is a new challenge which I am looking forward to, especially the installation of fibre into their communications room. The procedures of commencing work are very interesting, we can only enter the institute after the careful examination of our tools to ensure everyone’s safety.
The role isn’t too much different from FTTH (Fibre To The Home) previsions but it requires more experience. I am extremely proud to be trusted to complete these installs.
Becoming an FTTH installer was my first step to gaining fibre experience. As an FTTH fibre engineer, we install the network by using connectors and light readers. FTTH installers can also work on MDUs, which requires splicing on a dry network. As a fibre engineer working on these unique projects, I get the opportunity to splice fibre on a live network, blow cables and work with joints.
Splicing on live networks requires attention to detail and experience. We tend to use SLD (Straight Line Diagrams) while splicing on live networks because it tells us where we are within the network and what fibres require splicing. To ensure we’re not cutting anyone off the network, CityFibre’s NOC (Network Operation Centre) monitors those businesses’ connections who’s are running through the joint we are working on at the time. All engineers who work on these projects mastered the necessary skills by continuously seeking opportunities to gain more experience and learn new skills.
I’m proud of my splicing skills and being able to splice on live networks.
The most outstanding project for me was working on Coventry Hospital's network. We installed 20 fibre links from the hospital to a couple of council offices over a two-week-long period. I enjoyed the complicated nature of cabling into the hospital first, then splicing up a 20 km fibre run.
My best advice for new candidates is to give it time. When it all clicks in your head, you will start enjoying and appreciating the job.“
Kelly Group is delighted to introduce Stephen Taylor, who graduated from the Group’s Unified Communications Technician Apprenticeship Scheme with Alan in 2021. He’s always been interested in technology and telecoms which inspired him to turn his career around by applying for our apprenticeship scheme. Stephen and Alan’s teamwork is one to be rivalled - they take up different challenges as an efficient team on a daily basis.”
“I started my journey with Kelly Group 4 years ago as an apprentice. Since then I had the pleasure to be trained on all major networks as part of the scheme. Upon graduation, I decided to continue working on the CityFibre contract as a Fibre Engineer because it was the most enjoyable experience of my apprentice journey.
I was motivated to apply for Kelly Group’s apprenticeship scheme because I thought it was the perfect opportunity to better myself and build a new career in telecoms which I always found interesting.
Due to our extensive experience on various networks, there’s not a lot that past apprentices haven’t seen on the residential side – we mastered all types of install! When Alan and I were asked to join this unique project we were already working together installing MDUs on behalf of CityFibre. I enjoy splicing so it was the perfect opportunity to further my skills by working on a live network.
What I enjoy the most about being a fibre engineer is the satisfaction of completing jobs, knowing that I created a connection to the network from nothing and made it available for the customer.
Every day is a new challenge. We had the opportunity to be involved with amazing projects, however, my highlight so far is installing CCTV for the new Coventry train station. The train station has recently been renovated - our job was putting up the joint and installing provisions for the CCTV system.
I would recommend joining the CityFibre contract because there are endless opportunities to explore.
Since the CityFibre network is so new, I am an integral part of the installation process from the build stage. I come from a construction background so I like the build side of the job too. I hope we get the opportunity to be involved with many more interesting jobs in the future.
My advice for fellow engineers is to trust your equipment and training. Enjoy the job, think of the challenges, not as an obstacle but things you can achieve.”