Former Scotland rugby player latest signing as Openreach looks to take on 500 Scottish workers

A former Scotland rugby player has joined Openreach Scotland’s engineering workforce as the broadband network provider looks to create 500 jobs during 2022.

Lewis Carmichael has joined the firm after injury cut short his promising international career. Carmichael, from Peebles, was forced to retire from professional rugby on medical advice at the age of 26, having represented Edinburgh nearly 50 times and donned the Scotland shirt against Canada and the USA in 2018.

He joins the growing team of engineers who keep people connected and install fibre broadband across Scotland.

Openreach is the separate network arm of BT. The high-speed internet connections are rolled out by the engineering team and offered to customers via service providers like BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone.

Former Scotland rugby player Lewis Carmichael will be working predominantly around Peebles, Hawick and Melrose and has already been contributing to the company’s storm response in the Borders this winter. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

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With 95 per cent of Scottish homes able to connect to superfast broadband, Openreach has announced plans to bring the next generation of technology - gigabit-capable full fibre - to around 350 cities, towns and villages.

Carmichael said: “Although it’s a stark change from life as a professional athlete, training and working so closely with a team all day, many aspects of the job are very familiar. When the recent storms hit it was an all-hands-on-deck approach to get people back connected.

“I knew about the opportunities at Openreach through friends but also because of the sponsorship at BT Murrayfield. I’ve completed my eight weeks’ training now but with each unique issue that arises I’m learning more.”

Fraser Rowberry, Openreach’s chief engineer, who also started his career as an apprentice, said: “We’re creating and filling 500 more Scottish jobs during 2022 - including around 390 apprenticeships - as we continue to invest billions of pounds into the UK broadband network.

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“There are posts on offer right across the country from Fife to Ayrshire, Angus to Stirling and the Highlands and Islands where new starts can relish in the same opportunities to get out and about solving practical problems and keeping people connected in their region every day.

“We aim to attract talented, enthusiastic hard workers from all sorts of backgrounds and former careers, and we’re really fortunate that Lewis was drawn to engineering as he considered his next steps after his pro-rugby career,” he added.

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£95m Openreach investment will see thousands more Scottish homes and businesses ...

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