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Openreach UK to Hire 3500 Trainee FTTP Engineers Over Next 12 Months

Thursday, March 15th, 2018 (12:01 am) - Score 14,877
openreach uk engineering team

As first hinted in February (here), Openreach (BT) has today confirmed that they will hire 3,500 new trainee engineers over the next 12 months. The recruits are needed to help the operator deliver on its promise to make 1Gbps capable FTTPfull fibre” broadband available to 3 million premises by 2020.

The recruitment drive is said to be the “largest” single influx of new engineers in Openreach’s history and it will also result in a similar increase among the telecom operator’s supply chain, which when taken together should support the creation of around 5,000 new jobs in Britain over the coming year.

The related “Fibre First” programme will roll-out their Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) networks in up to 40 towns, cities and boroughs. As previously announced (see link above), this build will commence in eight cities including Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.

Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said:

“It’s great news that Openreach is creating 3,500 new permanent jobs rolling out full fibre broadband. This digital infrastructure will be welcomed by families and business across the country, and these new highly skilled jobs will be a boost to our talented workforce as we build an economy fit for the future.”

Clive Selley, Chief Executive of Openreach, added:

“These trainee engineers will be playing a vital role in the future success and prosperity of the UK. Over the last year our 22,200 engineers have been the driving force behind Government reaching its target of making ‘superfast’ broadband available to more than 95% of the country, whilst also improving our customer service performance – but we want to do more.

Every day, Openreach engineers are working in all weathers across the length and breadth of Britain, connecting homes and businesses and making sure people can access the high quality broadband services they need. We are already investing in upskilling our engineering team and today’s announcement of new jobs underlines our commitment to make our ‘Fibre First’ programme a reality – future-proofing Britain’s broadband network and supporting emerging mobile technologies like 5G.

I’m confident that our twin investment in people and infrastructure will help the UK achieve the societal and economic benefits that come from better, more reliable, faster broadband services.”

We suspect that FTTP isn’t the only reason why Openreach might need these extra engineers. Ofcom’s recent Strategic Review has also committed the operator to a variety of tougher service quality and performance targets (here), which could put an additional strain on their resources (extra engineers have already been hired to help cater for this but the more the merrier).

Openreach currently employs a total of 22,200 field engineers and last year hired more than 1,800 new engineers. No doubt some of the latest batch may also be used to support the roll-out of 330Mbps capable hybrid fibre G.fast broadband technology, which aims to cover 10 million UK premises by 2020.

The 3,500 roles include (across Openreach’s ten service delivery regions): 400 roles in Scotland; 297 in the North East (inc. Yorkshire & Humber); 283 in the North West; 303 in North Wales & the North Midlands; 444 in East Anglia; 354 in South Wales & the South Midlands; 300 in the South East, 505 in London; 400 in South Central and 214 in the South West.

openreach engineer uk team and vans in snow

As part of this Openreach also said that they would setup 12 new national fibre engineering schools, with centres in Bradford, Bolton, Cardiff, Croydon, Hertford, Livingston, Nursling, Peterborough, Thornaby and Yarnfield already live, and buildings in Exeter and the Thames Valley opening soon.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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15 Responses
  1. Avatar Reflection

    If Openreach want to deliver FTTP effectively, it might take more than just extra Openreach engineers. FTTP was supposedly deployed to the Boncath exchange area and there is a big difference between what the contractor or contractors delivered and what Openreach though they had. My ISP ended up having the order cancelled and can’t re-order even though the missing bit of infrastructure was fitted on 16 February and they connected a property that uses the same FTTP infrastructure on the 6 March. Openreach could do with better managing the FTTP delivery first.

  2. Avatar Tim

    I’d take a job at BT. Problem is their process for actually applying makes it almost impossible get past the first hurdle and get a phone interview.

  3. Avatar virgin

    @Tim you lucky to have that salary £25k+ as many million faced £15,600 a year on a minimum wage. Terrible UK.

  4. Avatar Marc

    Frustrates me how some people can turn such a positive news story into a negative! I see people on here frustrated by the speeds they get, openreach are clearly making a massive attempt to turn things around and address the gaps.

    Come on people take it for what it is, a brilliant story for the British economy and a massive step forward for ultrafast and a better customer experience for everyone who depends on them for their broadband delivery!

    • Avatar A_Builder

      What is frustrating is that it has taken this long to start to recruit and train the people needed.

      The need for them was obvious unfortunately the need to a better network was subservient to internal BT/OR orthodoxy around copper for too long.

      What the PR still does not say is how many of them are fibre optic (as opposed to FTTC and GFast) trained.

      I remain pessimistic that the numbers of pure fibre bods will be very high.

      And this seems a tiny number of people for such a large scale rollout. Or am I missing something here?

    • Avatar Web Dude

      Marc – can see your point, but it is true to say they are rather being forced into doing thism and really did “drop the ball” a few years ago. Things eventually got so bad that they are now in “remedial class” with the OFCOM “head teacher” taking this classm to be sure there are measurable improvements.

      A_Builder – may seem tiny but much depends on how much supervision is available initially when new engineers get into the field. No point having 10,000 and then a limited number of engineers with longer experience having to “sort out” massive numbers of mistakes. Also, who does the training – some may be experienced engineers taken from the field briefly, so workload suffers a bit until first batch are out in the field.

  5. Avatar Mike

    “Every day, Openreach engineers are working in all weathers across the length and breadth of Britain…”

    Indeed the picture shows the training involved to avoid any problems with snow 😉

  6. Avatar Ron Everett

    How do You Apply for this Job?
    Is there an Age restriction ?

  7. Avatar Ali Mota

    Someone knows the criteria to apply for that? Thanks

  8. Avatar Tony Barton

    I used to work as a T2a for Bt then opernreach from 97 to 2010.I took voluntary redundancy in 2010.
    I wonder if they would employ me again ?.

  9. Avatar Lorraine

    How does one apply?

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