Broadband engineers log on to keep Scotland connected

Engineers working for BT’s broadband infrastructure arm Openreach in Scotland are benefiting from a multi-million investment in online training to keep the nation connected during the pandemic.

More than 5,000 Openreach engineers typically attend courses at its Livingston training centre every year.
More than 5,000 Openreach engineers typically attend courses at its Livingston training centre every year.

More than 35 new online training courses are being delivered as part of the major investment at Openreach’s UK training schools, including one in Livingston, to ensure skill levels are maintained.

In a normal year, more than 5,000 delegates pass through the Livingston centre doors, including new recruits and existing engineers being given refresher training or learning additional skills.

During the last year this number has more than halved as social distancing has reduced capacity at the school and made traditional classroom learning more difficult.

To help overcome this, a newly created virtual learning programme with 35 modules is being delivered from dedicated broadcast facilities created within each of the training centres, an approach pioneered at the Livingston site.

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The new studios have multiple cameras allowing trainer to show practical examples as if the delegates were in the room.

Andrea Phillips, Openreach Scotland’s manager for learning and development, said: “We’ve really had to adapt and re-think how we do things during the last 12 months. Training is a fundamental part of our business, from the obvious learning new skills angle, but also keeping our people safe by making sure they’re able to access vital health and safety material.”

New virtual courses created by Openreach’s learning and development team cover topics including diagnosing broadband faults and pole testing.

Openreach employs 3,200 in Scotland and 275 new jobs were announced in December.

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