BT has created 1,600 new engineering jobs for its local access network arm, Outreach.
As part of its drive to supply the UK with fibre broadband the new engineers will work to install new lines and fix faults. BT has supplied fibre-optic cabling to more than 19 million homes and businesses so far.
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Prime minister David Cameron said: “Supporting business, creating jobs and providing a better future for hardworking people is a crucial part of our long-term economic plan.
“So I am delighted that BT is launching this major recruitment drive for 1,600 engineers across the UK, providing financial security for families and delivering a world-class infrastructure for Britain.”
Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Minister for Equalities, said: “The creation of new jobs, like the ones being announced by BT today, is one of the many benefits associated with the roll-out of superfast broadband currently underway.
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“We know that for every £1 invested by government, we get £20 benefit in return, and the employment boost delivered through infrastructure projects like this are a vital part of the government’s long-term economic plan.”
BT expect to recruit several ex-military personnel and women for the roles. The telecoms giant runs a campaign to employ former servicemen and women. The company's Openreach division has recruited more than 1,600 new engineers from ex-armed forces personnel over recent years as it rolls out fibre broadband across the UK.
Joe Garner, CEO, Openreach, said: “Millions of customers depend on broadband and they rely on us to keep them connected, whatever the weather. Our engineers do an incredible job. They have been rolling out fibre broadband faster than anywhere else in the world, and at the same time completing hundreds of thousands of jobs each week to keep people connected throughout the UK – an amazing achievement.
“These new recruits will be a welcome boost to that effort, joining an already world-class team. We want to attract the best in the country to a career in engineering. We are also keen to recruit women – as I’m keen to dispel the myth that being an engineer is an exclusively male vocation. In fact we have many successful women engineers and it is my personal belief that recruiting more will also help our customer service agenda. Being an Openreach engineer is a terrific job and a rewarding career, regardless of your background, or gender.”