Pair getting up to speed on the job

Nathan Fuller and Shannon Johnson.

Nathan Fuller and Shannon Johnson.

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Two apprentices are hard at work getting residents and businesses up to speed on the benefits of superfast broadband.

The pair are learning vital skills and gaining recognised qualifications as part of the iNorthumberland programme team.

Nathan Fuller joined the iNorthumberland team in May last year and has already gained plenty of experience helping to spread the word that high-speed broadband has arrived in communities across the county.

The 21- year-old, from Hadston, said: “I work on demand stimulation – helping to keep the public informed about where and when fibre is coming and ensuring people know how to sign up for a service.

“The great thing about the apprenticeship is that you’re learning on the job. I needed to learn but I needed to be working as well. I’m involved in everything from managing social media and attending public awareness events to helping deal with people’s broadband enquiries.”

Shannon Johnson, 17, from Ashington, joined the broadband project team in January and is doing a BTEC level 2 Diploma in Business Admin.

She said: “I love learning on the job – with an apprenticeship you get so much more involved with everything and can learn more quickly because you’re directly applying your knowledge.

“Studying this way means I’m able to get involved in so many different aspects of the job. I’m able to go out and meet the public and help organise events we do to promote fibre broadband.”

Coun Dave Ledger, deputy leader of Northumberland County Council and member responsible for the iNorthumberland programme, said: “It is great to see Nathan and Shannon playing such a key role in the iNorthumberland project.

“Through positions like this we can help young people to gain valuable experience and skills, and they are also having a large impact on the scheme.

“Nathan’s contribution was recognised last year in his achievement of a regional award. I am sure that Shannon will enjoy her role and gain similar valuable skills and experience too.”

Simon Roberson, BT’s North East regional partnership director, said: “It’s great to see the iNorthumberland programme has created this fantastic opportunity for two local young people as they start out on what I’m sure will be very successful careers.”

The iNorthumberland broadband programme is being delivered by Northumberland County Council and BT.

The majority of premises in Northumberland will be getting access to some of the best broadband speeds in the UK via iNorthumberland and the commercial roll-out of fibre by BT’s local network business, Openreach.

For up to date information on the roll-out visit www.inorthumberland.org.uk