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Around 40 trainee engineers will be hired across the North East as part of a recruitment drive by Openreach.

The announcement follows news that Openreach, Britain’s leading digital network business, will accelerate plans to build more ultrafast Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) broadband across the country.

The 40 new North East roles will be located across the region in locations such as Northumberland, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Sunderland and Durham.

Trainees will join the UK’s largest team of telecoms engineers working to expand, upgrade, maintain and install new services over Openreach’s national broadband network.

Openreach’s ‘Fibre First’ programme will deliver expanded ‘full fibre’ FTTP networks in up to 40 towns, cities and boroughs, setting it on a trajectory to reach ten million British premises by the mid-2020s. It has committed to making FTTP available in three million British homes and business by the end of 2020 and, if the conditions are right, intends to go significantly further, bringing the benefits of FTTP technology to the majority of homes and businesses in the UK.

Speaking ahead of the official opening today of Openreach’s new fibre engineering training centre in Bradford, one of 12 new regional centres built to support the fibre roll-out, Clive Selley, chief executive of Openreach, said: “These trainee engineers will be playing a vital role in the future success and prosperity of the UK. Over the last year our 22,200 engineers have been the driving force behind Government reaching its target of making ‘superfast’ broadband available to more than 95 per cent of the country, whilst also improving our customer service performance – but we want to do more.

“Every day, Openreach engineers are working in all weathers across the length and breadth of Britain, connecting homes and businesses and making sure people can access the high quality broadband services they need. We are already investing in upskilling our engineering team and today’s announcement of new jobs, including around 40 in the North East, underlines our commitment to make our ‘Fibre First’ programme a reality – future-proofing Britain’s broadband network and supporting emerging mobile technologies like 5G.”

The 12 training centres include one established on Teesside Industrial Estate in Thornaby. Openreach expects to invest about £200,000 over the next 12 months equipping the centre with the latest fibre engineering training facilities.

Derek Richardson, programme director for Openreach in the North East, said: “This latest recruitment represents a further investment in the North East. It’s very exciting news for our region. We’re looking forward to men and women from all walks of life applying for these roles at Openreach as we’re keen to engage with the aspiring engineers of tomorrow and 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 to make sure we attract and keep the best engineers in the business. This year we’ve invested 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.

“We’re committed to helping people realise their potential so we’re also delighted to be offering work experience placements, under the Movement to Workprogramme, to 18-24 year olds who are currently not in education, employment or training. North East courses are often held in places like Newcastle, South Shields and Darlington. Further details are available at www.movementtowork.com

Find out more about our Trainee Engineer Scheme. 

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