BT has recruited 42 more engineers in the South West to help build a new high-speed fibre broadband network in the region.
The company is taking on the new recruits in Exeter, Taunton, Plymouth, Bristol and Salisbury. The successful applicants, who range from mature ex-armed forces personnel to young people in their teens and early 20s, are being offered 18-month fixed term contracts with Openreach, BT’s local network business.
They will be part of the major engineering workforce, which is installing thousands of kilometres of optical fibre and other equipment across the South West in support of major super-fast broadband partnerships in Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. BT is a major partner in all of the projects.
The recruits undergo an initial five-week training program, which includes classroom training, building practical skills at a training centre and “buddying” with experienced engineers.
The latest jobs are in addition to the 1000 new UK jobs announced by Openreach earlier this year. Among those jobs were posts for former armed forces personnel and modern apprentices.
Jon Reynolds, BT South West regional director, said: “We have been impressed by the high standard of our latest recruits, who come from a wide range of backgrounds and careers. They have shown a great enthusiasm for the work and the huge benefits this exciting technology is bringing to the South West.
“It’s skilled, interesting work which will give the successful recruits the chance to gain experience in a fast-paced, constantly evolving industry. They’ll be at the forefront of connecting communities to the future.
“Faster fibre broadband is providing a major boost for households and businesses across the region whether they are using this exciting technology to attract new customers, improve education and skills or browsing the internet for leisure and entertainment purposes.”
Keri Denton, programme director for the Connecting Devon and Somerset partnership, said: “These new jobs are a welcome boost to the job market, providing exciting new career opportunities for people in our area. They come as part of our plans for a high-speed broadband network being created in partnership with BT, which will provide a platform for future economic development and regeneration.”
Among the latest recruits are Brendan Hooper, aged 31, of Ottery St Mary and Darren Kelly, 43, of Exmouth. Both will be based at BT’s Telephone Engineering Centre at Sowton, Exeter, when they complete their training in the new year.
Father-of-three Brendan, a qualified carpenter, said: “This is an exciting move for me and a big challenge. It’s great to be involved in a major programme which will make such a big difference to the success of the region in the years ahead. My father worked as an engineer in Cornwall for BT and previously the Post Office.”
Father-of-two Darren, who has spent 15 years working in the telecoms industry as a technician, said: “This is a dream come true. I have always wanted to work for BT so, of course, I’m delighted.”
Like Brendan, Darren is following in the footsteps of his father. “My dad, who retired about 15 years ago, had a great career with BT as an engineer and I’ve long had an ambition to work for the same company.”
BT’s roll-out of fibre broadband programme has already made the high-speed technology available to around 1.3 million South West homes and businesses.
About Connecting Devon and Somerset Councils across Devon and Somerset are working together to bring faster broadband to the area and deliver improved broadband to the “final third” - rural areas that are unlikely to benefit from commercial investment in broadband.
The Connecting Devon and Somerset project covers Devon County Council, Somerset County Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council, Plymouth City Council, Torbay Council, and North Somerset Council areas.
The project has secured £32 million of funding from the government agency Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and both Somerset and Devon County Councils will be putting in up to £10 million each and further funding from Bath and North East Somerset Council brings the public sector total close to £53 million. With the £41 million additional investment from BT, Connecting Devon and Somerset is now a £94 million project.
For more information, visit www.connectingdevonandsomerset.co.uk