More than 250 trainee engineers will be hired across the North West, as part of a huge recruitment drive announced today (Monday 28 January 2019) by Openreach.
The new roles in Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside will see trainees join the country’s largest team of telecoms experts working to expand, upgrade, maintain and install services over Openreach’s national broadband network.
Across the UK, more than 3,000 trainee engineers are being recruited, mainly to deliver the company’s ‘Fibre First’ programme, which is bringing faster, more reliable and future proof Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology to millions of front doors.
Alongside the latest recruitment drive, there’s further good news for the region, with Openreach also announcing Bury and Salford as two of 11 new locations where it will be building new FTTP networks during 2019ii. This brings the total number of towns, cities and boroughs at the forefront of the FTTP build to 25, with the company on-track to deliver its commitment of reaching three million homes and businesses with ‘full fibre’ broadband by the end of 2020.
Clive Selley, Chief Executive of Openreach, said: “Openreach is ambitious for the UK and is determined to build full fibre as quickly as possible to ensure the country has a reliable broadband network capable of supporting future data-hungry services and applications essential for boosting productivity and sustaining our position as a leading digital economy.
“We’re making great progress towards reaching our target of upgrading three million homes and businesses to full fibre by the end of 2020, reaching another 13k premises per week and these new North West recruits will play a crucial role in that programme. Openreach is a people business and our new apprentices will enable us to fulfil our commitments, with an ultimate ambition to deliver the best possible connectivity to everyone, everywhere, equally, across the entire country.”
Jon Corner, Chief Digital Officer, City of Salford, said: “Our digital commitment to citizens in Salford is paramount and you can see this, for example, in our Digital You and Digital Eagles programmes for skills and empowerment. The Openreach full fibre roll-out in Salford is yet another key step towards ensuring that all of our residents can benefit from future digital services and opportunities.”
In addition to Bury and Salford, the other locations where Openreach is building FTTP networks during 2019 are Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Croydon, Greater Glasgow region, Harrow, Merton, Redbridge, Richmond Upon Thames and Sutton Coldfield.
For the first time, Openreach also plans to publish details on its website detailing its build plans for the next 12 months, including the total number of exchange areas to be reached in each location. The company will update this information every three months.
Matthew Hemmings, Openreach’s director for fibre delivery in the North of England, said: “We want people from all walks of life to apply for roles at Openreach, to build a diverse workforce that reflects the hugely diverse communities we serve. Last year we successfully recruited more women than ever before and this year we want to go even further.
“Becoming an engineer can be an incredibly rewarding career, and we’re constantly improving our training and recruitment programmes, providing recognised qualifications, to make sure we attract and keep the best in the business. We’re investing heavily in upskilling our people, so they can now do more for customers in a single visit and we recently launched new career pathways to give our engineers a clear sense of the skills, accountabilities and experience they need to get where they want to be.”