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Interview with James Flitton, Associate Director at The ITP

James Flitton, the newly appointed Associate Director at the ITP, brings extensive telecom industry experience, having served on the ITP Board for nearly six years. From starting as an apprentice at Vodafone UK in 2000 to leading transformative initiatives at Level 3, GTT, and now Lumen Technologies, James has played a key role in industry advancements.

As an ITP associate, he aims to focus on addressing the industry's aging workforce challenge, promoting apprenticeships, and supporting the ITP's evolving role in the sector. James commends the ITP's continuous adaptation and its commitment to being a not-for-profit and impartial organisation. He encourages fellow telecom professionals to engage with the ITP for learning, development, and industry contribution.

Curious about James's motivation for taking on the role of ITP Associate Director? Here's what he shared!

"Having started my career as an apprentice, I know firsthand what benefits apprenticeships can bring to the organisation, communities, and the industry."

James Flitton (Lumen Technologies)

Please share some insights into your career journey, including any standout moments or highlights you'd like our members to know about.

I started my career as an apprentice back in 2000 at Vodafone UK, during the build out of the 2G network. It was boom time during my tenure; I saw the launch of GPRS, EDGE, 3G, The Blackberry, Vodafone Live to name but a few. What an environment to learn, grow and make lifelong friends.  

I moved to Level 3 (now Lumen) in 2009 leading the Service Delivery team across Europe, driving the transformation of how it delivered services and, in 2017, I had the opportunity to join GTT with the remit of building and growing the business in EMEA which included 4 acquisitions. My current role is at Lumen Technologies, where I head up the Digital Infrastructure line of business and over my two year tenure we have returned this line of business to growth.

During the last 11 years I have been through $10bn of M&As covering both integrations and carveouts. This year, I was recognised for this work and featured in the Capacity Power 100 rankings, an index listing 100 of the most influential people in the wholesale carrier and ICT communities.


What inspired you to join the ITP as an associate board director?

Having started my career as an apprentice I know firsthand what benefits apprenticeships can bring to the organisation, communities, and the industry. So, in 2013, I partnered with the ITP to launch the programme in Level 3 which went from strength to strength. But I wanted to do more; I wanted to make a difference and support the ITP in its journey of redefining the telecoms industry from the tools, events and support it provides its members through to its early career programmes.


As an associate of the ITP, what particular areas do you plan to focus on, and what initiatives or contributions do you have in mind to support both ITP members and the organisation as a whole?

We have an aging workforce which is nothing new and apprenticeships can provide a fantastic platform to attract and retain new talent. Apprenticeships can help you build a diverse, inclusive and sustainable workforce for the future. The sector we work in is complex and technology continues to evolve at pace which provides so many opportunities for people to learn and grow. The industry has an opportunity to collaborate across the sector rather than compete to address these gaps. The ITP has and continues to play such a critical role in driving this agenda and I will continue to support them with this.


In your view, what sets the ITP apart from other professional organisations or associations within the industry?

The ITP has a proud heritage, strong membership base and is well connected within the industry but so do many others. For me the key difference is that the ITP has continued to evolve its member services and its purpose in a changing industry and world. It has a fantastic team that are passionate about how they make a difference to peoples lives and it remains not for profit and impartial.


Would you recommend fellow telecom professionals to become involved with the ITP, and if so, what reasons or benefits would you highlight?

If you want to learn, develop and contribute to the industry or support someone to reach their personals goals then the ITP can support you. There are so many avenues from being a mentor, to becoming a member or setting up an apprenticeship programme in your business.