Published: 00:01, 15 March 2018
| Updated: 10:49, 15 March 2018
More than 60 trainee engineers will be hired across Kent as part of the largest recruitment drive ever undertaken by Openreach.
The move comes as the company, which owns the majority of Britain's broadband infrastructure, rolls out superfast broadband to homes across the country.
The 66 roles, part of 3,500 available across the UK during the next 12 months, will be located in Gillingham, Rainham, Maidstone, Rochester, Strood, Tonbridge and Malling.
Trainees will join the UK’s largest team of telecoms engineers working to expand, upgrade, maintain and install new services across the company's national broadband network.
The rollout will deliver "full fibre" networks in up to 40 towns, cities and boroughs as the company aims to reach 10 million premises by the mid 2020s.
Clive Selley, chief executive of Openreach, said: “These trainee engineers will be playing a vital role in the future success and prosperity of the UK.
"Over the last year our 22,200 engineers have been the driving force behind Government reaching its target of making 'superfast’ broadband available to more than 95% of the country, whilst also improving our customer service performance - but we want to do more.
"These trainee engineers will be playing a vital role in the future success and prosperity of the UK..." - Clive Selley, Openreach
“Every day, Openreach engineers are working in all weathers across the length and breadth of Britain, connecting homes and businesses and making sure people can access the high quality broadband services they need.
"We are already investing in upskilling our engineering team and today’s announcement of new jobs, including 66 in Kent, underlines our commitment to make our ‘Fibre First’ programme a reality, future-proofing Britain’s broadband network and supporting emerging mobile technologies like 5G.”
Katherine and David Hook, are a husband and wife team, and are engineers working for Openreach in Gravesend.
Katherine, 30, is an apprentice engineer manager and has been working at Openreach for 18 months. She was previously a paramedic driver in the ambulance service.
She said: “I love my job at Openreach as it’s so varied. I could be up telegraph poles one day or fixing service for customers in their homes the next.
"It was great when we worked together too, as David would often be able to help and advice on any new engineering challenges that cropped up."
David, 32, previously served 10 year years in the army as a Lance Corporal with the Royal Signals. His tours included Afganistan, Iraq, The Falklands Islands, Canada and Kenya.
He is an engineering field manager and has been working with Openreach for six years.
He said: “This engineering role gives me a sense of achievement, especially after helping my local customers by installing and fixing their service. The job offers me flexibility and the chance to progress in my career and I’ve been lucky enough to be offered a manager role only just recently.”
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