Sustainable Talent Solutions

Partnering with CityFibre on their £4 billion project to build the UK’s fibre broadband network to 8 million premises across 285 towns and cities by 2025. 

About CityFibre

The UK's largest independent wholesale only, fibre operator, with services live in dozens of towns and cities. Their vision is to unlock Britain's potential in the data age and set a new standard for broadband. 

Company: CityFibre

Industry: Telecoms

Date of Partnership: 2021 - Current 

Project: A £4 billion project to build the UK's fibre broadband network to eight million premises across 285 towns and cities by 2025. 

The Challenge

As a leading UK provider of fibre infrastructure, CityFibre’s vision is to create a whole new network, purpose-built for the data age. One that is capable of serving everything from mobile sites and large businesses, to social housing, care homes and community spaces.


It’s estimated that to meet their ambitious goals, 10,000 jobs will be created nationwide. But finding the talent to fill so many vacancies is a challenge in itself. Fibre is a relatively new industry, so large volumes of these niche skill sets don’t yet exist. To overcome this problem, CityFibre needs to promote the importance of retaining talent to the specialist organisations (known as Build Partners) doing the construction work in each of their project locations. It’s also vital to make clear to Build Partners that CityFibre has a responsible business strategy and that they have a part to play in delivering it.


Another consideration for CityFibre is being the first choice for consumers. They place an emphasis on getting things right the first time. This means that quality of talent is high on the agenda, but also scale and speed to ensure CityFibre remain ahead of the competition and can meet critical project deadlines. Realising the likelihood of people not wanting to switch providers once they’ve joined a network, CityFibre focuses on standing out with a workforce of well-trained, skilled individuals with a strong understanding of each location.


An additional challenge has been COVID-19. Despite being classed as key workers, rigid health and safety protocol have needed to be followed during the pandemic and extra supervision has been necessary. With a wide range of roles required across various regions, finding the resource to meet all requirements – and in a highly competitive market – is where CityFibre sought support.


Help power a fibre revolution


The Solution

As an unusually large-scale project, a great deal of expertise and a vast network are necessary to deliver successfully. Both perm and temp roles are required and span not only engineering, but management positions, as well as other key enabling roles. Under a fixed-cost MSP, Carbon60 are taking a tailored approach to each of the different areas, building regional-specific solutions.

With efficiency at the centre of the project, resource and cost reductions are essential. This involves us ensuring upskilling and training wherever possible. And where there are workforce gaps, we’re sourcing the right candidates who will stay with our client for the long-term as opposed to providing only immediate support.

We need to engage heavily with all Build Partners - involvement and understanding of all parties is essential. Taking ownership of marketing, account management, team leadership and admin, plus implementing a 1-on-1 service to each supply chain element, facilitates a more joined-up approach to us working with CityFibre’s suppliers.

A dedicated Talent Attraction Marketing team have taken control of a candidate attraction website, external candidate sources and employer branding for the campaign. This also provides another level of service to the Build Partners who receive support with market insight, salary benchmarking and creative solutions to resourcing challenges. As part of this service, Carbon60 has been able to bring in our own sources to build digital communities of talent and develop a candidate pipeline for our roles, ensuring strategic hiring by raising the profile of the project and the industry.


"CityFibre has very ambitious plans to build a true digital infrastructure reaching 8 million premises. To achieve this there is a huge amount of resource required not only in the physical build but within all the supporting services to enable a quality build at pace.

The marketplace we are operating in is hugely competitive meaning CityFibre must be a network provider of choice. To achieve this our Build partners success is critical with innovative approaches to resource attraction, retention, and sustainability. We had to do something outside of the norm to gain our advantage in this sector."

Rob Williams, Head of Build Partner Support, CityFibre

The Journey


Both parties are taking accountability and ownership throughout to make each stage of the journey successful and enjoyable. With our values well-aligned, we share a desire to do things better, more efficiently and to save on costs. And, of course, to do things as sustainably as possible too.

CityFibre has laid out a clear overview of their problems – in response, we’ve designed a model to tackle each issue which includes all their must-have items. We are transparent about what is achievable and where risk needs to be managed. Although flexible, we are honest when challenges arise and believe our openness is central to cementing this strategic partnership for the lifetime of the project and beyond.


We’ve also taken the same approach to build close working relationships with CityFibre’s Build Partners, connecting with people at every level. This has been our tactic throughout the entire venture – our solution isn’t built on sleek technology or ground-breaking processes – but a focus on people and relationships.


CityFibre - The Journey


The Results


The scale of this project hasn’t been seen before in the telecoms industry.


We’re pleased to have established a strong, trusting relationship with CityFibre who know they’re receiving value for money. From the outset, Carbon60 was very open and transparent with the budget and we’re pleased to have met all forecasted numbers so far.


We’re responding quickly to any challenges and are flexible enough to adapt where needed. CityFibre are quick to clarify any issues so it’s a partnership that overcomes any issues efficiently. They also provide us with a yearly forecast and now approximately three-quarters of the way in, we’re on track. We are proud to be on track to meeting or even exceeding figures.


Roles we’re successfully sourcing for them include fibre engineers, splicers/testers and supervisors, civils operatives, delivery, project and programme managers, yard people, drivers and quality surveyors. 

Interested in seeing some of the roles we recruit for CityFibre? Click here. 

“In a competitive and high-pressured industry, you need a supply chain you can depend on. Carbon60 has demonstrated from the start they are adaptable in their thinking and honest in their delivery. They have proven to be a strategic resourcing partner capable of delivering a unique service offering. We have seen consistency across quarterly targets while delivering under budget for the financial year.”

Rob Williams, Head of Build Partner Support, CityFibre

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