BT turns to virtual reality for engineer recruitment

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

bt openreach virtual reality vr

BT Group


09:05 28/04/17
  • 7,213.68
  • -0.32%-23.49
  • Max: 7,243.31
  • Min: 7,210.93
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
09:05 28/04/17
  • 3,472.76
  • -0.23%-8.08
  • Max: 3,483.33
  • Min: 3,472.28
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
09:05 28/04/17
  • 1,519.89
  • -0.16%-2.50
  • Max: 1,521.81
  • Min: 1,519.04
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
09:05 28/04/17
  • 3,543.72
  • -0.55%-19.55
  • Max: 3,563.58
  • Min: 3,537.75
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
09:05 28/04/17
  • 4,019.72
  • -0.28%-11.25
  • Max: 4,034.05
  • Min: 4,018.43
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
09:05 28/04/17
  • 3,966.86
  • -0.26%-10.48
  • Max: 3,980.41
  • Min: 3,965.60
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
09:05 28/04/17

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

09:19 UK consumer confidence worsens again in April - GfK

UK consumer confidence worsened slightly in April due to worries about rising inflation and flat wages.

08:58 Ultra Electronics remains confident despite US funding delays

Ultra Electronics said the expected improvement in trading from the new US government continued to be delayed as Federal budgets were negotiated.

08:41 RBS swings into first quarterly profit since 2015

Royal Bank of Scotland broke into the black in the first quarter of 2017, the first quarterly profit since 2015 as income, costs and margins all improved.

09:01 UK house prices fall again in April, says Nationwide

UK house prices have fallen for the second month in a row, with annual growth slowing to a near four-year low.

00:11 US close: Wall Street closes in the green as earnings season peaks

Wall Street bounced back quickly but modestly on Thursday as the peak day of the earnings season was rather mixed, with investors still getting over their disappointment over White House tax cut plans the previous day.

27 Apr Lloyds Banking Group profit increases, on track to meet 2017 targets

Lloyds Banking Group’s first quarter profit increased with the part state-owned bank still on track to meet its 2017 targets.

27 Apr ECB policy decision - Analysts react

"In June we expect a change to a less dovish and more symmetric forward guidance that would open the door for depo rate hikes in 2018. In particular, we would expect modifications possibly to both the forward guidance on rates and on QE by removing the explicit reference in the statement to a scenario with lower rates and/or higher QE." - Philippe Gudin, Antonio Garcia Pascual, Barclays Research

27 Apr FX round-up: Sterling sails higher on UK retail data, ECB rate call

Sterling sailed higher on most key crosses Thursday as investors liked the currency after pleasing UK retail data, European Central Bank holding interest rates and last night's US tax-reform disappointment.

27 Apr Europe close: ECB pours cold water on expectations of policy shift

European stocks declined for the first time in seven days despite the European Central Bank sounding a more confident note on the single currency bloc's economy.

27 Apr Friday preview: UK economic growth seen slowing, RBS results under scrutiny

On Friday the Office for National Statistics will reveal its preliminary estimate for UK gross domestic product growth for the first quarter.