500 more engineering jobs as BT expands recruitment programme


Takes total number of Openreach engineering roles announced since April to 2,400 Continued focus on customer service delivery, fibre broadband and high speed links for businesses

BT today announced a major expansion of the recent recruitment drive by its local access network business, Openreach, with the creation of a further 500 full-time engineering jobs, the majority of which will be permanent posts.

This latest phase of recruitment, which is already well underway, builds on the success of Openreach’s recent campaign to hire 1600 engineers. Openreach was thrilled with the response it received to the original recruitment drive receiving 26,000 applications - more than 16 per role - for the originally advertised posts, enabling it to announce the recruitment of an additional 500 engineers.

The majority of the remaining vacancies are based in London, Surrey and Aberdeen – and bring the total number of new recruits announced by Openreach this year to around 2,400, including more than 300 modern apprentices.

Around half of the new intake will be specifically focused on Openreach’s commitment to continue to deliver improved levels of customer service. Openreach has already made progress with this ambition, with the latest (Q2) performance data released today showing that it is ahead of Ofcom’s service level targets for new installations and repairs. However, Openreach is not content to simply meet these targets and these new engineering roles will help the company continuously improve service over time.

The remainder of recruits will also focus on the needs of consumers and businesses by connecting new housing developments and installing Ethernet across the country, which offers a dedicated ultra-fast broadband service for medium to large businesses. Some engineers will also be responsible for maintaining the network, allowing Openreach to further enhance its customer service levels by reducing the number of faults.

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: "BT's creation of 500 full time engineering jobs is tremendous news. Government is taking superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017, and it's vital that a skilled workforce is in place to cope with the resulting increase in demand.”

Andy Kerr, Deputy General Secretary, Communication Workers Union said: “The CWU welcomes this announcement to create a further 500 direct labour jobs within Openreach.

“We have worked closely with the company over the last few months to build the environment that enabled Openreach to create what is now 2,400 new job opportunities since April. We especially welcome the opportunities given to women to become engineers and to 300 young people through the apprentice scheme.”

Joe Garner, CEO, Openreach, said: “We’ve had a terrific response to our previous recruitment campaign, and I am thrilled to announce that we’re able to offer even more people an exciting career as an Openreach engineer.

“Our fibre broadband rollout is making a really positive contribution to the lives and business of people right across Britain. We are seeing strong demand for our superfast fibre service, as well as our ultra high-speed business services like Ethernet.

“We are recruiting more people so that we can continue to build our network rapidly, and serve our customers better. Broadband growth is great for our customers and for Britain. These new engineers will help ensure that Openreach continues to meet and exceed the rising demands of our customers in an internet age.”

The majority of the new roles are permanent, direct jobs for Openreach employees while a proportion are fixed term contracts of 18 months.

The recruitment process for the 500 new posts is already underway across the country, with a particular focus in London, Surrey & Aberdeen. The new engineers will benefit from Openreach’s continued investment in training and upskilling its workforce, with a comprehensive programme already underway for the first tranche of recruits.

Of those hired so far, more than 200 roles have been filled by ex-armed forces personnel, underlining Openreach’s ongoing commitment to supporting ex-service men and women. The campaign has also boosted the number of female engineers at Openreach following an increase in applications from women who are keen to enter the world of engineering.