Openreach creates 250 new jobs in Yorkshire and the Humber after a record year for hiring women engineers

Openreach today announced it will create and fill more than 250 more jobs in Yorkshire and the Humber during 2022 – including around 200 apprenticeships – as it continues to invest billions of pounds into its UK broadband network, people and training.

The new recruits will be based across every county in the region working to build and connect customers to the company’s ultrafast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband network. The mammoth build is on track to reach 25 million UK homes and businesses by December 2026 including hundreds of thousands in Yorkshire and the Humber. The hiring spree - 4,000 new jobs are being created across the UK - is part of the largest recruitment drive in Openreach’s history and will also help deliver further improvements in customer satisfaction, which is at a record high[1].

Openreach already employs the UK’s largest team of telecoms engineers and professionals, and has committed to building a more diverse and inclusive team in an industry that’s traditionally been very white, male dominated. Last year, the company attracted 600 women into trainee engineering roles – more than double the previous year. The boost was thanks partly to employing language experts to transform its job adverts and descriptions, making them gender neutral.

Brooklyn Yates-Clarkson is 27 and from Dewsbury and works as a cabler in Openreach’s Chief Engineers following a career as a signaller in the Royal Artillery. She said: “Openreach has always been somewhere I've wanted to work but I never had to courage to apply until very recently. The thing I love most about the job is working outdoors and having to use both my physical and mental strength to get results. I enjoy jobs that are demanding and love that feeling of having had a hard day at work.

“Training was brilliant but even now a year on I'm constantly learning and developing so I’d say to anyone worried about starting out in a completely new industry to not worry about it at all. You can do this job regardless of background and there’s endless support available from trainers, mentors and teammates.”

Katherine Ball, from Huddersfield recently joined Openreach having previously worked for the NHS specialising in dialysis, ophthalmology, and primary care. She said: “I never thought in a million years of becoming an engineer, but I knew I wanted a new challenge without getting myself into student debt. I saw Openreach were recruiting and that the wage was one I could actually live on, so I thought I’d just go for it. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made – the training is brilliant, and my team are like an extended family. One major plus is that the company understands that we all have different commitments at home and makes really simple adjustments such as providing workwear for us curvier ladies which might seem like a small thing but is actually so important to wellbeing.”

Clive Selley, CEO, Openreach, said: “Openreach is a people business first and foremost, so I’m proud that we’re continuing to invest heavily in our people, having hired and trained more than 8,000 new engineers over the last two years. We’re rightly recognised as one of the best big companies to work for in the UK, and we’re determined to stay that way, so we’ve been building state of the art training schools all over the country where we can teach people the skills and techniques they need for long, exciting and rewarding careers in engineering.

“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.

“These new recruits will play a crucial role as we continue to improve services for our customers and build the biggest and best broadband network in the UK, covering millions of rural and urban homes.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak said; “I firmly believe in the importance of supporting women in STEM and am delighted to see Openreach doubling the number of women in trainee engineering roles last year.

“Investing in creating thousands of new jobs and apprenticeships will also boost our mission to level-up communities, support economic growth and give more people across the country the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge they need to fulfil their potential.”

The new roles offer a very competitive starting salary[2] and long-term career prospects, but candidates don’t need any formal qualifications to apply. All you need is a driving license, a strong work ethic, great customer service skills and an enthusiasm to work outdoors – Openreach will give you all the equipment and training you need to do the rest. Click here for a full list of employee benefits.

Alongside its recruitment drive, Openreach has committed to represent ONS measured levels of ethnic diversity3 across the UK and is aiming for at least 20 percent of its trainee engineer recruits to be women this year, with 50 percent of its external hires into management also to be women by 2025. You can read more about the company’s commitments to Diversity and Inclusion here.

Openreach also plans to retrain more than 3,000 of its existing engineers during the next year – changing their focus from fixing older, copper-based technologies to installing and maintaining faster, more reliable fibre connections.

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Nadine Dorries, recently opened the company’s newest training centre in Thornaby which is the latest of 11 regional training schools – including one in Bradford - it has built and upgraded across the country. Around 25,000 engineers pass through these centres every year across the UK, receiving a combined 180,000 days in training.

More than 2,800 Openreach people already live and work in Yorkshire and the Humber. Openreach’s full fibre broadband rollout has already reached more than 486,000 local homes and businesses. Just last month (January), a further 90,000 were added to the build programme. 



[1] Openreach is on track to deliver all 30 Ofcom-mandated quality of service standards, having delivered a best ever Q3 for ‘on time repair’ and ‘on time provision’ measures. 91% of customers surveyed score Openreach 8 or more out of 10 for customer satisfaction.

[2] The new trainee apprenticeship roles come with a starting salary of £21,845 and recruits can be earning up to £28,353 following 12 months of specialist training to achieve an NVQ level 2, in one of Openreach’s world class training centres.

3 Openreach has set ethnic minority representation targets for all management, talent entry and team member recruitment in both desk and field roles on a regional basis, so we reflect the local population (data defined by the ONS). As a minimum we will match regional ethnic minority representation in all our recruitment and share these outcomes on a regular basis.