New roles welcomed by the Prime Minister
New Openreach chief executive promises to publish performance data online
Calls for more female engineers and former military personnel
BT today announced plans for a major recruitment drive across the UK, with 1600 new engineering jobs being created at Openreach, BT’s local access network business.
With the company having passed more than 19 million homes and businesses with fibre – some two thirds of the UK – the new recruits will help to continue to improve customer service and bring the technology to even more communities.
As more and more people rely on the internet, they have rising expectations of reliability. The new engineers will help Openreach to continue to improve customer service as it strives to install new lines and fix faults more quickly.
Openreach has also committed to increase transparency around its customer service performance by promising to publish regular reports on its website from this summer. These reports will show how Openreach is delivering against its service targets.
The business expects a significant number of the engineering roles to be taken up by ex-service men and women - continuing the company’s long-standing relationship with the UK Armed Forces 1 . Openreach is also particularly keen to recruit more female engineers and has launched a campaign encouraging women to enter the world of engineering.
The Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron MP said: “Supporting business, creating jobs and providing a better future for hardworking people is a crucial part of our long-term economic plan.
“So I am delighted that BT is launching this major recruitment drive for 1,600 engineers across the UK, providing financial security for families and delivering a world class infrastructure for Britain.”
The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Minister for Equalities said: “The creation of new jobs, like the ones being announced by BT today, is one of the many benefits associated with the roll-out of superfast broadband currently underway. We know that for every £1 invested by government, we get £20 benefit in return, and the employment boost delivered through infrastructure projects like this are a vital part of the Government’s long term economic plan.”
Joe Garner, CEO, Openreach, said: “Millions of customers depend on broadband and they rely on us to keep them connected, whatever the weather. Our engineers do an incredible job. They have been rolling out fibre broadband faster than anywhere else in the world, and at the same time completing hundreds of thousands of jobs each week to keep people connected throughout the UK – an amazing achievement.
“These new recruits will be a welcome boost to that effort, joining an already world class team. We want to attract the best in the country to a career in engineering. We are also keen to recruit women – as I’m keen to dispel the myth that being an engineer is an exclusively male vocation. In fact we have many successful women engineers and it is my personal belief that recruiting more will also help our customer service agenda. Being an Openreach engineer is a terrific job and a rewarding career, regardless of your background, or gender.”
BT has a long-standing relationship with the UK Armed Forces, and some of the latest group of new recruits will join through its well-established Civilian Work Attachment scheme. This helps to facilitate a smooth transition from the Forces into the civilian workplace.
Recruitment for the new roles is already underway in parts of the country, and people interested in applying for the posts should visit the Openreach website.
1 Openreach has recruited more than 1600 former servicemen and women over the last three years.