New roles welcomed by Prime Minister
Extra roles to boost UK fibre roll-out and improve customer service
Calls for more female engineers and former military personnel
BT keen to recruit in locations such as Brighton, Portsmouth, Tunbridge Wells, Canterbury, Ashford and Sevenoaks
BT today announced plans to create up to 250 new engineering jobs in the South East as part of a major recruitment drive across the UK.
The company is particularly keen to recruit in Crawley, Brighton, Tunbridge Wells, Canterbury, Horsham, Ashford, Hastings, Aylesford, Sittingbourne, Portsmouth, Lewes, Sevenoaks, Eastbourne, Battle, Tonbridge, Edenbridge, Haywards Heath, Heathfield, Dover, Folkestone
The latest intake of engineers will help to continue to improve customer service and bring high-speed fibre broadband to even more communities.
BT’s local network business, Openreach, has already made fibre broadband available to more than 19 million UK homes and businesses – some two thirds of the UK – and more than 3 million in the South East. Nationally, Openreach expects to recruit 1,600 engineers.
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 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.”
Jon Weaver, BT’s South East regional director, said: “BT is leading the economic recovery of the South East as one of the region’s largest investors. Not only are we building a superfast broadband network, which is giving a major boost to the region’s households and businesses, we are creating highly skilled local jobs offering exciting careers, such as those announced today.
“Working with our partners in the public sector we are determined to ensure that the South East is in the best position possible to take full advantage of the superfast broadband revolution. The region should be really positive about its future. Exciting times lie ahead for both BT and the South East. The opportunities for businesses to grow and for households to benefit from enhanced on-line learning and entertainment are immense.”
The Right Hon Sajid Javid, 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, chief executive of 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 go to www.openreach.co.uk/careers
1 Openreach has recruited more than 1600 former servicemen and women over the last three years.