The Internet of Things has been driving broadband infrastructure roll out over the last decade. Initially businesses were the priority. Now, roll our embraces homes and communities. Openreach is looking to apprenticeships in delivering the fourth utility.

Openreach is owned by BT and is the National grid of the telecoms world. It is responsible for laying and connecting the broadband fibre that delivers high speed internet connection to businesses and homes. It is on a mission to provide the telecoms spine that supports full-fibre roll out to 25 million homes and businesses by the end of 2026.

To achieve this target Openreach needs engineers and it will create 4,000 jobs across the UK in 2022. Three thousand of these will be apprenticeships. This is in addition to the 2,500 people it recruited for engineering jobs last year, of which, 600 trainee engineers were women. Currently Openreach employs 35,000 people and is committed to building a diverse workforce.

The broadband expansion project is a £12 billion programme that has been accelerated in the wake of the COVID pandemic. With a trend to working from home more, reducing transport and boosting local and rural economies, high speed fibre is becoming the fourth utility.

Traditionally the telecoms industry worked on a twisted pair of copper wires. Openreach are upgrading this with fibre at a rapid rate. Your engineering apprenticeship will help be part of that transformation. Currently, they estimate they upgrade 43,000 homes and businesses every week and this is set to increase to 75,000 a week. They use sophisticate technology including machinery that can lay up to1 kilometre of fibre a day. Traditional techniques lay only 20 metres.

Clive Selley, Chief Executive of Openreach, said Openreach had built training schools all over the country where they can teach people the skills and techniques they need for long, exciting and rewarding careers in engineering. Their apprenticeships sit within their trainee engineer programme. It’s open to young people who are just starting out in the world of work or those who are looking to change career.

If you would like further information on apprenticeships and how to apply for them, talk to the Apprenticeship Support by Be More Team They provide impartial information and advice on apprenticeships across the Liverpool City Region.