BTOpenreach, which takes care of BT’s national telecoms network in the United Kingdom, has today announced the recruitment of a further 1,000 new engineers to help with the on-going roll-out of superfast broadband (FTTC, FTTP) and phone services into customers’ homes.
As before 200 of the new recruits are expected be reserved” for ex-armed forces personnel and 400 will be placed on an apprentice training scheme that should last for more than two years; focusing mostly on home installs before learning more advanced skills. The others will come from normal recruitment.
The move means that Openreach, in addition to the 1,500 or so new recruits added in 2012, will have boosted its national pool of telecoms engineers to reach a total of over 6,000.
Ian Livingston, BTs CEO, said:
“BT’s investment, together with the government’s BDUK programme, will cement the UK’s position as one of the leading broadband nations in Europe. We remain highly confident that fibre [FTTC/P] can be provided to more than 90% of UK homes and businesses, making the UK a global digital leader.
Faster broadband will help to fuel the UK economy and the jobs we are creating are part of that. Almost half of the jobs will be offered under our popular apprenticeship scheme giving young people the chance to earn a recognised qualification and pursue a career as a skilled telecoms engineer.”
David Cameron, Prime Minister, added:
“Working with business, the Government is driving a transformation in UK broadband services and with an extra 100,000 homes and businesses gaining superfast broadband availability each week, this is already taking shape. Providing much faster broadband speeds, and enabling millions more homes and businesses to enjoy these speeds is vital for driving investment and equipping the UK to compete and thrive in the global race.”
BT are currently spending £2.5bn of their own money to push the latest superfast broadband technology out to cover 66% of UK homes and businesses by the spring of 2014, when the service will become available to 19 million premises in the UK (currently available to 13 million).
The operator has indicated that its up to 80Mbps FTTC and 330Mbps FTTP technology could even reach 90% of premises by 2017, albeit only provided they win the lion’s share of public funding from the government’s Broadband Delivery UK office (worth up to £830m plus another £1bn from BT itself).
So far BT has picked up all of the related BDUK contracts and, due to a lack of viable competition in the bidding process, we don’t expect that trend to change.