The firm, which is injecting £1.5 billion into upgrading the infrastructure in these Scottish locations, said the three-year recruitment and training initiative will help upgrade the UK’s digital infrastructure to full fibre. It said the latter is the best available technology enabling the “fastest and most dependable” digital connectivity and broadband services.
It noted that the UK government is targeting nationwide deployment of full fibre by 2025. “This critical initiative will underpin Britain’s long-term economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis… enabling access to ultra-fast digital connectivity for all.”
The initiative will include training thousands of unemployed UK residents as well as new job opportunities for qualified and experienced construction and telecoms workers. CityFibre added that jobs will be created within its growing pool of network construction partners delivering the up-to-£4bn rollout of full fibre infrastructure to 100-plus towns and cities.
The programme will target the likes of service-leavers and those now unemployed as a result of the coronavirus crisis. It will also seek to attract more women and individuals from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, all of which are “significantly” under-represented in the construction industry. Recruitment campaigns to identify the first wave of trainees will begin later this month.
CityFibre will work with national employment and recruitment partners including The Department of Work and Pensions, Construction Industry Training Board and the Career Transition Partnership as well as other specialists such as the Women’s Engineering Society.
Wherever possible, workers will be hired from the town or city identified for rollout, and CityFibre will continue to work with local authorities to identify local partners through which it can promote and deliver the programme.
After recruits finish their training, they will be introduced to CityFibre’s local network construction partners and considered for network delivery roles. “The training and experience will provide them with long-term career opportunities in a sector critical to the UK’s future,” CityFibre said.
Its chairman Steve Holliday hailed the job-creation in such a “critical and vibrant” sector, saying: “The programme will reach deep into our society to include some of those most in need of opportunity. In the wake of the coronavirus, delivering the government’s target of full fibre nationwide by 2025 could not be more important.”
UK digital secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Our £5bn commitment to bring faster, gigabit-speed internet to the whole country is key to ensuring everyone is better connected, creating jobs and powering the UK’s economic recovery from coronavirus.” He praised the commitment by CityFibre – which notes that Stirling is set to be one of the UK’s first Gigabit cities with an entirely fibre network – to building a highly skilled and diverse telecoms workforce that will boost growth across the UK.
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