BT turns to virtual reality for engineer recruitment

Josh White Sharecast | 20 Mar, 2017 15:07 | | |

bt openreach virtual reality vr

BT Group

323.95

15:35 27/03/17
-0.52%
-1.70
  • 7,266.63
  • -0.96%-70.19
  • Max: 7,336.82
  • Min: 7,255.78
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
15:35 27/03/17
  • 3,446.24
  • -0.40%-13.73
  • Max: 3,459.97
  • Min: 3,435.93
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
15:35 27/03/17
  • 1,473.96
  • -0.68%-10.13
  • Max: 1,484.09
  • Min: 1,469.87
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
15:35 27/03/17
  • 3,724.37
  • -0.44%-16.36
  • Max: 3,740.73
  • Min: 3,664.19
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
15:35 27/03/17
  • 4,017.05
  • -0.89%-36.23
  • Max: 4,053.28
  • Min: 4,011.95
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
15:35 27/03/17
  • 3,959.79
  • -0.88%-35.24
  • Max: 3,995.03
  • Min: 3,955.26
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
15:35 27/03/17

Openreach, the BT subsidiary that owns and operates most of the UK’s telephony and broadband infrastructure, announced a major expansion of its engineering workforce on Monday with plans to recruit 1,500 trainees.

The company said it was part of its drive to “improve customer service” and “invest in the operation of its network”.

Over the next eight months, Openreach would be seeking recruits from across the UK to fill new, full-time and permanent roles focussed on extending its fibre broadband network.

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Karen Bradley, claimed the Government's £1.7bn rollout programme had helped take superfast broadband to more than nine out of ten homes and businesses in the UK, reaching “thousands more” every week.

“Openreach engineers have played a pivotal role in helping deliver this, and these 1,500 new recruits will be a fantastic addition to our thriving digital economy.”

In what its board called a “groundbreaking approach to recruitment”, potential candidates would be able to discover exactly what life as a field engineer involved with the help of virtual reality.

The company said it is trialling a VR experience which enables interested applicants to don a headset and experience climbing a telephone pole or exploring the local exchange building in immersive 3D, from the perspective of a real engineer.

Openreach expected that an initial intake of 119 recruits would join the company in April, followed by around 60 new recruits joining each week through to mid-October.

New trainees would embark on a tailored 12-month accredited learning programme, including on-the-job experience and culminating with the attainment of an externally recognised qualification for IT, software and telecoms professionals.

“Improving customer service is our number one priority so we’re investing in our people to make sure we deliver,” said Openreach chief executive Clive Selley.

“Our customers need us to install new lines and repair our network faster than ever, and by increasing the number of people working on proactive network maintenance, we can fix more issues before people even notice them.”

Selley said Openreach was continuing to roll out superfast broadband services at scale, and claimed it was making big investments in its network to make ultrafast broadband available to up to 12 million homes by the end of 2020.

“We want to recruit the very best people to help us on that journey and our new trainee engineering roles will offer people the hands on experience they need to succeed.”

More news

16:30 FTSE 250 movers: Inchcape motors on; miners lose their lustre

A positive note on Inchcape saw shares in the automotive services and retailer lead the risers on the FTSE 250.

15:21 Exova confirms discussions with potential suitors

Exova Group, noting recent market speculation, confirmed on Monday it received proposals from Element Materials Technology, Jacobs Holding and PAI Partners SAS regarding a possible cash offer for the company.

15:16 Rural and small businesses still suffering bad broadband

A large number of businesses remained without a reliable broadband connection, a new survey said on Monday, despite many respondents saying a fully-functional connection was “extremely important” to their operations.

14:56 FTSE 100 movers: Randgold, Fresnillo shine; Babcock slumps

London's FTSE 100 was down 1% to 7,260.60 in afternoon trade, while the pound rallied against the dollar amid doubts about Donald Trump's ability to deliver on his fiscal stimulus pledges.

14:53 IMImobile to buy multi-channel messaging app provider Infracast

IMImobile has agreed to buy multi-channel messaging applications provider Infracast for an initial consideration of £8.2m in cash and shares.

14:45 May to stress importance of union in meeting with Sturgeon

Prime Minister Theresa May was to meet Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and press the case for the four nations of the United Kingdom staying together.

12:49 Trading Emissions narrows loss under threat of Polish regulation

Closed-ended investment company that specialises in renewable energy projects and emissions instruments, Trading Emissions, announced its results for the six month period to 31 December on Monday.

12:38 Path Investments to float on London Stock Exchange on Thursday

Path Investments is to float on the London Stock Exchange on 30 March as the energy investor bids to capitalise on the downturn in the price of oil.

12:38 Strategic Equity shareholders request general meeting

Strategic Equity Capital noted a press comment over the weekend on Monday, and confirmed that it received a request to requisition a general meeting from two of its shareholders, Ian Armitage and Growth Financial Services - a subsidiary of Harwood Capital Management - representing 5.02% of the company’s issued share capital.

12:32 Hurricane Energy claims UK's 'largest' undeveloped offshore oil discovery

Hurricane Energy reported an oil discovery from exploratory drilling near to the Lancaster field, which the company believes is part of the largest undeveloped discovery on the UK continental shelf.