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Openreach Opens Up Peterborough Training School For Women in Engineering Day

Press release   •   Jun 11, 2019 12:02 BST

One of Openreach's engineers training on some of the latest kit

Openreach’s training school in Peterborough is throwing open its doors to the public later this month (Sunday 23 June) to celebrate International Women in Engineering Day.

A family day is taking place at the training centre – located on Saville Road (PE3 7PR) – from Midday to 2.30pm. Local families are being invited along to get a taste of life as an engineer.

It’s the first time the training school has been open to the public and organisers have planned a host of fun activities to unleash the engineer in visitors of all ages.

The theme of the day is very much ‘having a go’, with engineering related games, challenges and activities for the whole family – from ‘can you find the pipe?’ using tracking detectors to a colouring competition.

There will be ‘show and tell’ sessions to see pole climbing and fibre splicing and the chance to dress up like an engineer (and take selfies) and look inside a typical Openreach engineering van.

Female engineers will be on hand to talk about their careers and demonstrate some of the high-tech kit they use on a day-to-day basis.

Visitors will also be able to take a stroll down the newly-constructed “Open Street” – a replica street built from scratch at the centre, where engineers practise their skills in a real-life setting.

Peterborough engineer Jenny Sykes said: 

“A career in engineering is extremely rewarding and I’m hoping the Open Day will help more women realise that it’s a realistic option. It’s still a largely male-dominated career but times are most definitely changing, which can only be a good thing. There will be a few of us on hand on Sunday 23rd to talk through our own experiences, what made us choose a career in this sector, and to answer any questions that people might have.

“Being an engineer for Openreach is a fantastic job and one that I really enjoy. There can be a misconception that the physical side of the role makes it too challenging, but in reality, it’s never been less so. With the modern tools and techniques we use, this career is now very much open to both men and women.

“My message to anyone who’s thinking about a career as an engineer, whether that be starting out from college or switching career at a later stage, is to come along to Peterborough and find out more. It’s a fascinating job, you’re always working with brand new technology which is exciting, and there is huge satisfaction from problem solving and resolving complex issues.”

Openreach is working hard to attract a diverse workforce. Last year, more female engineers joined than in previous years. And recruitment of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people has risen nationally from 11 per cent in 2017 to 17 per cent in 2018.

Openreach employs more than 3,000 people across the East of England, the majority of them engineers, and earlier this year announced a further 400 new recruits during 2019.

Most new recruits are tasked with Openreach’s key aim of delivering ultrafast broadband in homes and businesses across the UK and it was recently announced this programme has been extended to now reach 4 million premises by March 2021.

Kevin Brady, Openreach’s HR Director, said: 

“We are keen to be known as a company that men and women from all walks of life want to work for, and for our workforce to reflect the hugely diverse communities we serve throughout the UK.

“Engineering is a rewarding career and our recent investment in our training facilities means we’ll have more than doubled the learning days we deliver annually, to more than 160,000 people – the highest in the history of our business. This Open Day is a great opportunity to come and see for yourself what a career in engineering could look like.”

For more information about Openreach’s work, and career opportunities, visit openreach.co.uk.

About Openreach

Openreach Limited is the UK’s digital network business.

We’re 33,000 people, working in every community to connect homes, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, mobile phone masts, 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 the UK can be connected.

We work on behalf of more than 620 communications providers like SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone, BT and Zen, and our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more than 27.5m UK premises

Over the last decade we’ve invested more than £13 billion into our network and, at more than 173 million kilometres – it’s now long enough to wrap around the world 4,314 times.

Today we’re building an even faster, more reliable and future-proof broadband network which will be the UK’s digital platform for decades to come. We’re on track to reach four million premises with this ‘full fibre’ technology by March 2021 and ultimately, we want to upgrade the majority of the UK if the conditions are right. We’re also hiring around 3,000 trainee engineers this year to help us build that network and deliver better service across the country.

Openreach is a highly regulated, wholly owned, and independently governed division of the BT Group. More than 90 per cent of our revenues come from services that are regulated by Ofcom and any company can access our products under equivalent prices, terms and conditions.

For the year ended 31 March 2019, we reported revenues of £5.1bn.

For more information, visit openreach.co.uk