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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

BT to recruit Cumbrian engineers for superfast roll-out

BT is to recruit about 10 engineers in Cumbria as it gears up for the roll-out of superfast fibre broadband in the county.

BT is to recruit about 10 engineers in Cumbria as it gears up for the roll-out of superfast fibre broadband in the county.

It will recurit 58 engineers in the North West as part of nationwide recruitment drive that will see more than 1,000 engineering jobs are being created at the company’s local network business, Openreach.

Most of the new recruits will be installing fibre broadband in customers’ homes and businesses.

As well as apprentices, BT will be employing further armed services personnel and other candidates, such as the long-term unemployed.

The jobs announced today are in addition to 1,500 extra engineers who were recruited during the past year in the UK.

Following this recruitment, there will be more than 6,000 people working in the UK on what is believed to be the fastest fibre roll out in the world. BT’s fibre network is already the largest in the UK, passing more than 13 million premises, and the technology is being made available to an additional 100,000 UK homes and businesses every week.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I warmly welcome the announcement from BT today. Working with business, the Government is driving a transformation in UK broadband services and with an extra 100,000 homes and businesses gaining superfast broadband availability each week, this is already taking shape. Providing much faster broadband speeds, and enabling millions more homes and businesses to enjoy these speeds is vital for driving investment and equipping the UK to compete and thrive in the global race.”

Mike Blackburn, BT’s North West regional director, said: “This latest recruitment is a further example of BT’s great commitment to the North West. We are one of the region’s largest private sector employers and investors. At a time of great economic challenge we are creating more high-quality jobs and rolling out high-speed fibre broadband to communities across the North West. There is a strong North West demand for this exciting new technology, which offers huge benefits and opportunities for local homes and businesses.

“In addition to our commercial roll-out of fibre broadband, BT is working with broadband partnerships in Cumbria and Lancashire to make the technology available in more challenging locations.”

BT chief executive Ian Livingston added: “BT’s investment, together with the government’s BDUK programme, will cement the UK’s position as one of the leading broadband nations in Europe. We remain highly confident that fibre can be provided to more than 90 per cent of UK homes and businesses, making the UK a global digital leader.

“Faster broadband will help to fuel the UK economy and the jobs we are creating are part of that. Almost half of the jobs will be offered under our popular apprenticeship scheme giving young people the chance to earn a recognised qualification and pursue a career as a skilled telecoms engineer.”

Across the UK, more than 400 apprenticeships are to be offered, providing young people with a training scheme lasting two and a half years.

These apprentices will focus on installing new fibre broadband connections in customers’ homes during their first year, before going on to learn the full range of engineering tasks in the remaining months.

At the end of their training, the apprentices will achieve a BTEC Level 3 Diploma and Certificate in ICT Systems and Principles. As part of their qualification, apprentices will also complete academic studies in Maths, English and ICT, providing them with the essential skills needed to progress in the workplace.

These apprenticeships are likely to be much sought after. BT has recruited around 460 apprentices to date in the current financial year having received 18,500 applications – more than 40 for each available position.

Openreach will work with the Ministry of Defence and the Careers Transition Partnership to attract further people who are due to leave the armed forces. The business has recruited more than 1,000 staff from the armed forces in the past two years and is keen to find a further 200 under this latest recruitment programme.

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