Openreach set to create 500 new jobs across Scotland in biggest ever recruitment drive

Around 500 jobs are being created in Scotland this year as a telecoms firm looks to boost its ranks as it continues the rollout of next generation broadband.

Openreach will create the positions, including around 390 apprenticeships, as part of its biggest recruitment drive in its history.

The firm said that last year, 17 per cent of its intake of trainee engineers in Scotland were women – more than triple the year before.

But chief executive Clive Selley said Openreach had “much more to do in an industry that hasn’t been very diverse historically”.

Robert Thorburn (centre) watches engineers Lucy Kennedy and Jodine Crombie as they work on Scotland’s new full fibre network

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One of those recruits was Spartans FC player Alana Marshall, 34, from Dunfermline in Fife, who was a dog walker before making the switch into engineering.

“I’ve always been interested in engineering and wanted to have a good job for my daughter,” said the semi-professional footballer, who has been capped for Scotland.

“I really love getting my hands dirty and with this job you certainly do. I never have two days the same and haven’t come across anything I don’t like so far.

“I’ve had positive customer reactions. I know I’ll come across some challenges in the future – I’m used to it with playing football.

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“I’d tell other women considering engineering to go for it, never have any doubt that you can’t or shouldn’t be doing a job like this. We are just as capable.”

Sixty-five jobs will be available in Fife and Ayrshire, 55 in Edinburgh and Glasgow, 40 in Angus, Dundee and the Highlands and islands, and 30 in Stirling and the Scottish Borders.

Natasha Carswell, 30, from Carnwath near Lanark, switched her job as a hairdresser to work at Openreach last year and has not looked back.

“During the pandemic I lost my dad, which made me decide to take life into my own hands and make it a little more exciting,” she said.

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“I want to do something that excites me and is different every day.”

Mr Selley said: “We want to reflect the communities we serve and give opportunities to people from all backgrounds, so I’m encouraged that we’ve recruited more women and minority groups this year compared to last year, but we’ve got much more to do in an industry that hasn’t been very diverse historically.”

The company is creating 4,000 jobs across the UK as part of the recruitment drive.

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