·Communities across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset among the locations to benefit
·3,500 new engineers across the UK will help deliver ultrafast Fibre to the Premises broadband to three million premises, support evolving mobile networks and improve customer service
·£400,000 to be spent on new fibre engineering school at Exeter
More than 450 trainee engineers will be hired across the South West as part of the largest recruitment drive ever undertaken by Openreach.
The announcement follows news that Openreach, Britain’s leading digital network business, will accelerate plans to build more ultrafast Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) broadband across the country.
The 455 new South West roles, part of 3,500 available across the UK during the next 12 months, will be located in dozens of communities across the region. Some of the biggest recruitment is expected to take place in Cardinham, Callington and Camelford in Cornwall; North Molton, Princetown and Bideford in Devon; and Cheddar, Flax Bourton, Keynsham and Bath in Somerset. Notes to Editors – a full list of Cornwall, Devon and Somerset locations is available at the end of this news release.
Trainees will join the UK’s largest team of telecoms engineers working to expand, upgrade, maintain and install new services over Openreach’s national broadband network.
Openreach’s ‘Fibre First’ programme will deliver expanded ‘full fibre’ FTTP networks in up to 40 towns, cities and boroughs, setting it on a trajectory to reach ten million British premises by the mid-2020s. It has committed to making FTTP available in three million British homes and business by the end of 2020 and, if the conditions are right, intends to go significantly further, bringing the benefits of FTTP technology to the majority of homes and businesses in the UK.
Twelve new fibre engineering schools are being established in the UK, including one in Devon at Oberon Road, Exeter Business Park. Openreach expects to invest about £400,000 over the next 12 months equipping the Exeter centre with the latest fibre engineering training facilities.
Clive Selley, chief executive of Openreach, said before the official opening of Openreach’s new fibre engineering school in Bradford today: “These trainee engineers will be playing a vital role in the future success and prosperity of the UK. Over the last year our 22,200 engineers have been the driving force behind Government reaching its target of making 'superfast’ broadband available to more than 95 per cent of the country, whilst also improving our customer service performance – but we want to do more.
“Every day, Openreach engineers are working in all weathers across the length and breadth of Britain, connecting homes and businesses and making sure people can access the high quality broadband services they need. We are already investing in upskilling our engineering team and today’s announcement of new jobs, including 455 in the South West, underlines our commitment to make our ‘Fibre First’ programme a reality – future-proofing Britain’s broadband network and supporting emerging mobile technologies like 5G.”
Emma Howarth, programme director in the South West for Openreach, said: “This latest recruitment represents a further major investment in the South West. It’s very exciting news for our region. We’re looking forward to men and women from all walks of life applying for these roles at Openreach as we’re keen to engage with the aspiring engineers of tomorrow and to build a diverse workforce that reflects the hugely diverse communities we serve.
“Becoming an engineer can be an incredibly rewarding career, and we’re constantly improving our training and recruitment programmes to make sure we attract and keep the best engineers in the business. This year we’ve invested 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.
“We’re committed to helping people realise their potential so we’re also delighted to be offering work experience placements, under the Movement to Work programme, to 18-24 year olds who are currently not in education, employment or training. Further details are available at www.movementtowork.com”