More than 50 engineering jobs created in the South East as BT expands recruitment programme
Takes total number of Openreach engineering jobs announced since April in the South East to more than 300;
Continued focus on customer service delivery, fibre broadband and high speed links for businesses
BT today announced a further expansion of its engineering workforce in the South East with the creation of another 54 full time jobs.
It means that BT’s local network business, Openreach, has recruited more than 300 engineers in the region since the Spring. Among the locations where the latest recruitment has taken place are Aldershot, Aylesbury, Basingstoke, Brighton, Canterbury, Crawley, Dorking, Esher, Farnborough, Guildford, Haselmere, Maidenhead, Maidstone, Oxford, Portsmouth, Reading, Sevenoaks, Southampton, Tonbridge, Tonbridge Wells and Wycombe.
This latest phase of recruitment, is already well underway, and builds on the success of Openreach’s recent campaign to hire 1,600 engineers across the UK, including 250 in the South East. Openreach was very pleased with the response it received to the original recruitment drive, receiving 26,000 UK applications - almost 16 per role - for the originally advertised posts. It is still seeking further recruits in London and Surrey.
Around half of the latest intake of 500 recruits across the UK 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 service level targets for new installations and repairs set by the regulator, Ofcom. 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 per cent of the UK by 2017, and it's vital that a skilled workforce is in place to cope with the resulting increase in demand.”
Dave Axam, BT South East regional director, said: “For the second time in less than six months we are able to announce a boost to our engineering workforce in the South East. This latest recruitment provides further evidence of our commitment to the region and to our customers. We are one of the largest investors in the South East, both as a major employer and a provider of essential communications.
“The economic prospects for the South East are continuing to improve and superfast fibre broadband, which we are rolling our across the region, will play a vital role in its future success. Many thousands of South East households and businesses are already benefiting from the great opportunities offered by high-speed communications and this exciting technology will have an ever more important role in the years ahead as we continue to make a major investment in our network and the people who maintain and build it.”
Joe Garner, chief executive of Openreach, said: “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 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 across the UK, 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.
Openreach is responsible for the last mile of the UK access network – the copper wires and fibre connecting homes and businesses to their local telephone exchanges. Openreach provides communications providers with services and products associated with that network.