BT is to create 3,000 engineering jobs this year as part of a plan to speed up the rollout of fibre broadband and eliminate “not-spots” in cities and suburban areas. Kicking off a drive to upgrade the UK to next-generation gigabit speed internet, BT said it will recruit and train the engineers in order to reach its new target of 3m homes and businesses by 2020. It had previously committed to reaching 2m homes by that date. The recruitment drive follows heavy job losses at the group, which last year announced it was cutting 4,000 roles worldwide. Half of the job losses were in the UK, with managerial and back-office posts bearing the brunt. The new jobs are at its Openreach subsidiary.
BT has said Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester will make up the first phase of the roll-outs, which will connect up to 40 British towns and cities over the next decade. Clive Shelley, the chief executive of Openreach, the division that controls most of the UK’s broadband network, said: “Openreach is getting on with the job of building an ultrafast Britain. We are accelerating our plans; where possible, we will be ‘fibre first’.”