More than 220 trainee engineers will be hired across Scotland as part of a huge recruitment drive announced today by Openreach.
The new roles – in locations throughout Scotland from Shetland to Dumfries and Galloway – will see trainees join the UK’s largest team of telecoms experts working to expand, upgrade, maintain and install services over Openreach’s national broadband network.
The total includes 48 posts for the Glasgow city region, 38 for Edinburgh and the Lothians and 34 for Aberdeen city and shire as well as new posts in locations like Highlands & Islands, Dumfries & Galloway, Stirling, Ayrshire and Perth & Kinross.
Across the UK, more than 3,000ii trainee engineers are being recruited. Around half will be helping 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, Openreach is also announcing it will be building new FTTP networks in the Greater Glasgow area during 2019. 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 recruits in Scotland 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.”
The Scottish Government Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Jamie Hepburn said: “The Scottish Government is committed to improving the country’s digital infrastructure, encouraging inward investment and employment opportunities to inclusive growth so we welcome this long term investment in the Scottish workforce by Openreach and the capital investment being undertaken at its Livingston training facility.”
Speaking at the official opening of Openreach’s new training school in Peterborough, one of 12 new fibre training centres built to support the rollout, the UK Government Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Amber Rudd said: This is a huge expansion in high skilled, well-paying jobs and yet another demonstration of the jobs success we have seen since 2010. ”Because behind every employment number is a person and family whose self-esteem, mental wellbeing and economic circumstances and life chances are all vastly improved by being in the workplace. And it is also good news that these are some new training roles, developing the skills of our workforce.”
In addition to parts of Greater Glasgow, the other locations where Openreach will be building FTTP networks during 2019 iii are Bury, Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Croydon, Harrow, Merton, Redbridge, Richmond upon Thames, Sutton Coldfield and Salford, 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.
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.
Fraser Rowberry, Openreach’s service director for Scotland, 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.
“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.
”Only Openreach has the commitment, experience, skills and significant local workforce needed to deliver an open, reliable, future-proofed digital network for all of Scotland, enhancing Scotland’s skills base for the long term.”
The new Peterborough training school is one of 12 centres being built or upgraded across the UK and is the second to become fully operational under Openreach’s investment plans. An investment of £450,000 in Openreach’s Scottish training centre in Livingston will be unveiled later this year.
Find out more about the Trainee Engineer Scheme here www.openreach.co.uk/careers
Notes to Editors
i Fibre to the premises (FTTP) or ‘full fibre’ broadband connections can deliver download speeds of up to 1Gigabit per second (Gps) - enough bandwidth for a family of four to all stream ultra HD or 4k quality movies or TV simultaneously, without interruptions, waiting or buffering. Downloading a typical HD film would take less time than it takes to make a cup of tea.
ii Of the 3,000 roles, around 1,600 are newly created roles having taken account of attrition (e.g. retirement).
iii Openreach will build to thousands of homes and businesses in these locations in the first phase, helping to deliver a total of 3m fibre connections across the UK by the end of 2020.
- Openreach is creating fibre training centres across the UK in Bradford, Bolton, Crawley, Exeter, Livingston, Newport, Nursling, Peterborough, Romford, Thornaby, Yarnfield and Northern Ireland.
- Ultrafast broadband is defined as speeds in excess of 100 Megabits per second (Mbps). A typical HD Netflix video stream requires around 5 Megabits per second.
- Successful applicants in England and Wales who complete 12 months at Openreach will receive a BTEC Level 2 Diploma in professional Competence for IT & Telecoms Professionals. Scottish joiners will receive a Diploma for IT and Telecommunications Professionals at SCQF Level.
- Openreach currently employs 24,282 field engineers and last year hired 3,500 new engineers.
Openreach is Britain’s digital network business.
We’re 30,400 people who connect homes, mobile phone masts, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, broadcasters, governments and businesses - large and small - to the world.
Our mission is to build the best possible network, with the highest quality service, making sure that everyone in Britain can be connected.
We work on behalf of more than 600 communications providers like SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone, and BT, and our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more than 27 million premises. We’re also the platform for Britain’s thriving digital economy, which is the largest in the G20.
We’re working hard to give people the speeds they need to run and enjoy their daily lives. Over the last decade, we’ve invested more than £11 billion into our network and we now manage more than 160 million kilometres of cable stretching from Scotland to Cornwall, from Wales to the east coast. And we’re continuing to take that network further - making superfast broadband speeds available to thousands more homes and businesses every week.
Openreach is a wholly owned and independently governed division of the BT Group, and it is a highly regulated business, with more than 90 per cent of our revenues generated from services that are regulated by Ofcom and any company can access our products under the same prices, terms and conditions.
For the year ended 31 March 2018, we reported revenues of £5.1bn.
For more information, visit openreach.co.uk