BT’s network business Openreach has announced the completion of another recruitment drive in the North East, with some of the latest recruits based in Ashington, Blyth and Berwick.
The latest recruitment has included the hiring of more than 40 engineers and five apprentices across the region to help install new lines and fix faults more quickly. The new recruits are also working on rolling out fibre broadband to more households and businesses.
Today's announcement is the latest in a series of recruitment drives undertaken by Openreach in the North East. They are part of a nationwide initiative, which has seen Openreach employ 5,000 engineers and more than 700 apprentices across the UK in the last three years.
Openreach publishes regular customer service performance data on its website, showing how it delivers against a range of service targets, including standards set by the regulator, Ofcom. It has been meeting or exceeding all 60 of Ofcom's service standards with the latest results showing that 84 per cent of faults are fixed within two working days and 93 per cent of new lines are installed on time.
Earlier this year, a committee of MPs said that BT is ‘significantly under-investing’ in Openreach and warned that if it fails to ‘offer the reforms and investment assurances necessary to satisfy our concerns’, Ofcom should move to enforce full separation between the subsidiary and BT.
A significant number of the jobs have been taken up by ex-service men and women - continuing the company's long-standing relationship with the Armed Forces. The business remains keen to further increase diversity in the workforce, including the recruitment of more female engineers. It recently joined forces with other technology firms to create a new mentoring scheme – Step into STEM – which encourages schoolgirls to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers.
Farooq Hakim, BT regional director for the North East, said: "This latest recruitment represents another major investment by BT in the North East as a leading employer and provider of essential services.
"New recruits are now embarking on exciting careers in a fast-moving industry, which is making a major contribution to the future success of the North East. Already, they are working hard to ensure that local households and businesses get the best possible service whether they have ordered the latest new technology, such as superfast fibre broadband, or simply reported a fault.
"Given our focus on service, we've recruited people who can connect with customers and give them a very good experience they'll remember. In return, they have the opportunity of a fantastic career in a company that's at the forefront of building the UK's connected future."