‘Skilled, high quality jobs’ welcomed by Scottish Government
BT today announced it is boosting its engineering workforce in Scotland with 38 new recruits as it accelerates its roll-out of super-fast broadband. The new engineers will be based in Fife, Tayside, Glasgow and Ayr and many of them will be ex-armed forces personnel.
They are joining BT over the next few weeks to help the company deliver fibre-based broadband to two-thirds of UK homes and businesses by the end of 2014, a year ahead of the original target of 2015.
The recruits will spend their first few weeks completing extensive training and job shadowing and will then ‘buddy up’ with experienced colleagues. All the new engineers are due to be in place by the end of January.
BT’s roll-out of fibre broadband is well under way in Scotland, with around 200,000 homes and businesses already passed by the technology, another 170,000 due to follow in the months ahead and further locations to be announced.
Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said the acceleration of the £2.5 billion programme would help stimulate the economy, drive growth and benefit local communities who were keen to experience the technology.
He said: “The new jobs we are announcing today will help us to support and create the digital infrastructure Scotland needs for the jobs of tomorrow.
“Our current engineering teams are busy installing fibre broadband at a pace we believe rivals anywhere in the world – and our new recruits will help us take the new technology to even more homes and businesses.
“We have made clear our determination to extend fibre broadband beyond our current commercial deployment plans, and we would welcome the opportunity to work with the public sector to reach the more challenging parts of Scotland.
“We have a strong track record of delivering broadband partnerships, we’re prepared to commit significant sums to make it happen and our growing, flexible workforce will help ensure we are ready for action in any part of the country.
“We are proud that many of these new jobs will be filled by ex-armed forces personnel, who are highly skilled, motivated and have experience of complex engineering tasks in challenging environments.”
Welcoming the announcement, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment, Alex Neil, said: “This is good news from BT. These are skilled, high-quality jobs which will make a major contribution to Scotland’s future success.
“We in the Scottish Government have set out our ambition for all of Scotland to have access to next generation broadband by 2020, with significant progress to be made by 2015. Meeting the challenge of delivering this service is a key priority of our Digital Strategy.
“The roll-out of super-fast broadband is one of the most important investments taking place in Scotland. It can transform the way we live and work and play a key role in building a stronger business community.”
Across the UK, BT’s local network business Openreach is recruiting an additional 520 engineers, with the selection process well under way. It follows an earlier round of recruitment in May this year, when around 280 new engineers were employed, many of them ex-armed forces personnel.
Openreach has been working closely on the recruitment programme with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), which brings together the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Right Management, a global talent and career management expert.
One of those who joined earlier this year was Dale Burridge, 41, from Lincoln, who left the RAF as a corporal in February 2010 after serving 22 years. He worked on satellite and radio communications, and has served in the Falklands and Basra.
Dale said: “Working on next generation broadband for Openreach has many similarities to being in the armed forces which has made the transition straightforward – there is a chain of command, we visit depot stores, look after equipment as if it was our own and work in groups of people from a similar background and as one team. The big difference is you’re not getting shot at – you just have to dodge the dogs!
“I would recommend it as a career move; you get to travel and meet people, you’re helping to build an important part of British infrastructure which is a big part of people’s lives, and it offers the prospect of learning new engineering skills in the future.”
BT’s network can be used by all companies on an open wholesale basis, underpinning a fully competitive marketplace. The company recently announced it is to roughly double the speed of its super-fast broadband fibre-to-the-cabinet service next year and also increase the headline speed of its fastest fibre broadband product to up to 300Mbps.
Notes to editors
The Career Transition Partnership (CTP) provides career guidance along with training and employment support to those leaving the armed forces. It has been working closely with Openreach on the recruitment programme, providing the recruitment solution and assisting with sourcing and managing suitable job applicants from the pool of talent leaving the Armed Forces. For further information about the CTP, visit www.ctp.org.uk.
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