At least 255 new jobs created in North West by broadband giant Openreach

Openreach today bucked the prevailing economic trend by creating at least 255 new North West engineering jobs.

The new roles, across Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire and Cumbria, will enable the company to continue improving service levels across its existing networks, whilst building and connecting customers to its new, ultrafast Full Fibre broadband network at a record pace.

Openreach is creating more than 5,300 new UK-based engineering jobs, including more than 2,500 full-time jobs in Openreach’s own service and network build divisions, as well as an estimated 2,800 positions in its UK supply chain, through partners such as Kelly Group, Kier, MJ Quinn and Telent.

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The UK’s largest digital infrastructure firm has separately made a commitment to upgrade all 27,000 Openreach vehicles[ii] - the second largest commercial fleet in the UK - to electric by 2030.

The announcement comes as the firm hit a record build rate for its Full Fibre broadband programme – which aims to reach 20 million homes and businesses by the mid-to-late 2020s.

Openreach engineers are now delivering faster, more reliable connectivity to another 40,000 homes and businesses every week, or the equivalent of a home every 15 seconds.

Full fibre build is already underway in dozens of locations across the North West, including the urban areas of Manchester, Liverpool, Bury and Ormskirk as well as harder to reach locations including Penrith, Millom, Great Eccleston, Burscough, Congleton and Frodsham.

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The pandemic has accelerated changes in working patterns and, with full fibre, nearly two million more people than previously estimated could also choose to work from home in the long term, reducing transport and housing pressures in big cities and boosting local and rural economies across the country.

Openreach regional director for the North, Robert Thorburn, said: “As a major employer and infrastructure builder, we believe Openreach can play a leading role in helping the UK to build back better and greener.

"Our Full Fibre network build is going faster than ever and we’re now looking for people across the North West to build a career with Openreach and help us upgrade broadband connections and continue improving service levels throughout the region.

"We’re also investing in our supply chain, which will support the creation of thousands of jobs based all over the UK."

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Openreach already employs more than 34,500 people, including more than 25,000 engineers who build, maintain and connect customers to its nationwide broadband network. Of these, more than 3,700 are based in the North West.