Openreach joins Birmingham Chamber of Commerce

Photo: Kasam Hussain (Openreach) with Henrietta Brealey (GBCC)

Record recruitment, full fibre broadband, and the importance of a diverse workforce were hot topics as Openreach formally joined the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC).

Chamber chief executive Henrietta Brealey toured Openreach’s new Snowhill office where more than 650 of Openreach’s local team are based.

The company employs more than 3,200 people across the region and recently announced record recruitment with 300 more engineers set to join this year.

Ms Brealey and her team heard how most of Openreach’s new recruits will be busy working to build a new ultrafast, ultra-reliable full fibre broadband network across the region, welcoming last month’s £47 million broadband investment which will see the network reach a further 160,000 West Midlands homes and businesses.

Ms Brealey said: “Openreach’s full fibre network build is the second biggest infrastructure build in the UK after HS2. It was great to meet Kasam and the team to learn more about Openreach’s national activity and local objectives.

“At the Chamber, we’ve been in business, for business since 1813. We specialise in helping businesses develop and navigate networks while delivering core support and services that enable businesses to achieve their ambitions on local and global growth.

“With 650 staff based at their Snow Hill offices alone, Openreach are a substantial employer in the city and already making a big impact. The Chamber team are looking forward to working with Openreach on engaging local businesses with the 2025 switchover to digital phone lines and raising awareness of Openreach’s investment in the city though their 1813 Club membership of the Chamber.”

As part of the visit, the Chamber team also heard how more than 600,000 homes and businesses across the West Midlands can already access full fibre broadband. Working with housing developers, Openreach is set to bolster this number as 6,000 new build premises in Birmingham are set to benefit from full fibre.

Recent research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) estimates that connecting everyone in the West Midlands to full fibre would create a £4.5billion boost to the local economy.

Openreach’s regional director, Kasam Hussain, said: “We’re delighted to be joining the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce and enjoyed showing Henrietta and her team around Snowhill. We play a significant role in every community across Birmingham, both in terms of building full fibre and employing thousands of people locally.

“Joining The Chamber will enable us to work more closely with other businesses and organisations across the city, sharing experience and expertise, and hopefully being able to explain a bit more about what we do and the important role we play.”

Openreach is used by customers from a wide range of companies including BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Zen. It’s investing billions of pounds to reach 25 million premises by the end of December 2026.