Openreach set to recruit thousands of apprentice engineers

Openreach is to hire 3,000 new trainees this year as part of a major recruitment drive as it continues to connect houses and businesses to faster broadband, the company has announced.

The trainees will be based across the UK, helping engineers upgrade, maintain and install services across the company’s broadband network.

Openreach also gave details of 11 new locations where it will build networks to deliver fibre technology, including Bury, Salford, Sutton Coldfield, Greater Glasgow and Croydon.

The company said it was on track to deliver its commitment of reaching three million homes and businesses with full fibre broadband by the end of 2020.

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd, who will attend the official opening of Openreach’s new training school in Peterborough on Monday, welcomed the expansion of “high-skilled, well-paying” jobs.

“Training and apprenticeships can help create opportunities for women in what are traditionally male-dominated industries,” she said.

“Last year a record number of women moved into work, something reflected in Openreach’s record of hiring more female staff than ever before.”

Clive Selley, chief executive of Openreach, said: “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 13,000 premises per week – and these new 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.

“We’re committed to being the UK’s national provider, so on top of our recruitment plans announced today, we’ve made public the next 11 locations where we’ll start building over the next 12 months.

“We’ll also be publishing updated plans every three months to give people a clear idea of where we’re building.”

Kevin Brady, human resources director at Openreach, added: “We want to get on with the job of delivering full fibre broadband to the UK, and that’s why we need to continue growing our team of highly skilled engineers ready to connect homes and businesses across the nation.

“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.”