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Energy & Utility Skills announces new partnership with the Fibreoptic Industry Association (FIA).

The Government’s national infrastructure strategy aims to connect 85% of the UK with ultrafast gigabit broadband by 2025, with £1.2bn allocated to the rollout of full-fibre broadband over the next four years. The majority of the population are also due to have access to a 5G signal within 6 years. The fibreoptic industry is crucial to these plans. In recognition of this, the FIA and Energy & Utility Skills have partnered to help ensure the current and future workforce have the skills required to meet these challenges.

In this new collaboration between Energy & Utility Skills and the FIA, those who successfully complete the FIA Qualified Installer scheme incorporating SHEA Telecommunications will be registered on the Energy & Utility Skills Register (EUSR).

The FIA’s Technical Qualifications Committee (TQC), which works with providers and industry experts to develop and update qualifications and standards, approached Energy & Utility Skills for its support and expertise in providing a scheme for the industry that could result in a registration on EUSR – the energy and utilities sector training and skills register.

This partnership is an important step in developing and supporting schemes and programmes within the telecommunications industry.

Where a need is identified to meet the current and future employment and industry standards; the TQC work with awarding bodies, service providers and employers to develop and refresh schemes, ensuring the industry is equipped with the correct and desired vocational qualifications. The TQC were appointed by the FIA to review current qualifications and standards, updating as appropriate.

The scheme is now live, with EUSR registration available in these four Level 2 programmes:

  • Qualified Data Cabling Installer
  • Qualified Fibre Optic Installer Inside Plant
  • Qualified Fibre Optic Installer Outside Plant
  • Qualified Network Communications Infrastructure Installer


Each of the four options above has a pre-requisite requirement for individuals to hold an EUSR registration in Energy & Utility Skills’ SHEA Telecommunications scheme. The Safety, Health and Environmental Awareness training programme and assessment was developed in collaboration with the telecoms industry, to provide industry relevant training in line with Health and Safety Executive guidelines. SHEA Telecommunications is a CSCS Partner Card giving individuals access to CSCS controlled sites for utilities work. The FIA Qualified Installer scheme is available through FIA members only.

John Marson, the Fibreoptic Industry Association Chairman, said: “This collaboration is hugely exciting for the FIA as one of our original aims, when incorporated in 1990, was to facilitate development and professionalism within the industry. One continuing focus since then has been to ensure quality and reliability on network design, installation practice and methods of training.

Our FIA training providers deliver high quality training and our accredited installers promote best practices in the industry. We’re looking forward to working with Energy & Utility Skills and are confident that our members can register their Installation personnel in the coming months.”

Phil Beach CBE, Energy & Utility Skills Chief Executive, said: “In this fast-growing and exciting industry, we are delighted to have partnered with the Fibreoptic Industry Association on this scheme. The FIA shares our commitment to ensuring all members of the telecommunications industry can demonstrate the required knowledge and understanding to work safely in an operational environment. A competent and skilled workforce is essential to delivering on the Government’s infrastructure plans.”

To find out more about the scheme and the four training programmes, visit the EUSR website.

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