Openreach launches new £485,000 investment in national fibre training school

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 6 March 2019 in News

Opened by Skills Minister Jamie Hepburn during Scottish Apprenticeship Week, the school will include a 18,700 square foot replica street to recreate the live network in the real world

Image credit: Rolf Vennenbernd/DPA/PA Images

Telecoms infrastructure firm Openreach has announced a new £485,000 investment in a national fibre training school, based in Livingston, to train digital engineers to bring broadband services to communities across Scotland.

Opened by Skills Minister Jamie Hepburn during Scottish Apprenticeship Week, the school will include a 18,700 square foot replica street to recreate the live network in the real world, dubbed Openreach’s first outdoor ‘Open Street’ in the UK.

More than 2,000 engineers from across Scotland will train at the school this year, while Openreach said more than 4,000 people have applied for 220 new trainee engineering roles, ahead of a major rollout of full fibre broadband.

Hepburn said: “Investing in the skills of Scotland’s current and future workforce are priorities for the Scottish Government, recognising their positive contribution to our strategic focus on inclusive growth and improving productivity. 

“In support of that we will continue to expand the number of apprenticeships available in Scotland, and in this Scottish Apprenticeship Week we fully welcome today’s Openreach announcement regarding their investment in Scotland and its workforce.”

Brendan Dick, chair of the Openreach board in Scotland, said: “Openreach is a long-term partner in Scotland’s success. Our network underpins the economy the length and breadth of the country, bringing a vital service to Scottish communities. With most people in Scotland able to connect to a superfast service today, we’re proud of our track record.

“We’re investing now for the future so that we have the local, skilled and experienced workforce needed to deliver a full fibre future for Scotland and keep communities connected, with better service, broader coverage and faster broadband speeds for all.

“Our training schools will help us to meet new training demands in a revolutionary, immersive environment and, this month, the learning days we deliver annually in Scotland will top 16,300 – the highest in the history of our business.”

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