Openreach to recruit 400 extra engineers
Four hundred new engineers are to be recruited by Openreach, it was announced today, with the expectation being that most of the new jobs will be filled by ex-armed forces personnel. The recruitment drive will see the total number of new engineers hired in 2012 rise to more than 1,000, following the employment of around 600 engineers in the first half of the year.
The new recruits will boost engineer numbers at Openreach as the business prepares to deploy even more fibre broadband infrastructure across the UK. The extra engineers will play an important role by joining the business’s mobile workforce, reacting quickly to changes in service requirements from communications providers and helping tackle peaks in demand for fibre broadband around the country. This workforce is composed of engineers who aren’t confined to one geography but who instead are prepared to work where the need is greatest thereby providing Openreach with greater flexibility.
Openreach’s fibre footprint – which is open to all companies to use on an equal basis - already passes more than 11 million premises but the plan is for that footprint to expand even further so that it covers around two thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014. Openreach will go beyond that purely commercial footprint by deploying additional fibre broadband in areas where BT wins Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funds, following competitive tender processes.
Today’s announcement was welcomed by Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Media, Olympics and Sport, who said: “This is good news not only for the 400 people who secure one of the new jobs but for the whole of the country. BT is creating jobs while rolling-out the digital infrastructure UK businesses need to grow.
“Digital technology is fundamental to the way we live our lives and the way we do business, which is why we want the UK to have the best and the fastest superfast broadband in Europe by 2015.”
Olivia Garfield, Openreach CEO, said: “These are challenging economic times so I’m delighted to be able to recruit these extra engineers. Our engineers are doing a fantastic job keeping the copper network in shape, as well as deploying fibre at breakneck speed, and the new recruits will help us go even further, faster.
“Fibre broadband will be vital to the future health of the UK. It has the potential to transform the economy and help create thousands of jobs. Our engineers are playing a critical role by deploying infrastructure that will underpin the economy for many years to come.”
Openreach has recruited many hundreds of engineers who are ex-armed forces personnel over the past two years and is keen to fill many of the new roles with such people once again. The business is benefitting from the skills, experience, flexibility and enthusiasm that the previous recruits have brought with them.
Openreach is liaising with The Career Transition Partnership (CTP), an arrangement between the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Right Management, to help facilitate recruitment of the new engineers. The CTP provides career guidance along with training and employment support to those leaving the armed forces.
In addition, Openreach is retraining and reskilling hundreds of existing staff so that they become engineers dedicated to the provisioning of broadband services for customers across the UK. Between March 2011 and December 2012 Openreach expects to have recruited 1,650 new engineers, including the 400 announced today.
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